When you are considering what is the best automotive diagnostic scanner for your particular vehicle, there are a number of considerations to be made. The first thing to consider is whether your vehicle is truly a ‘high mileage’ car or one with very low miles. With more vehicles on the road being driven by owners who are taking their vehicle to every mechanic they can find, there are many different ‘regulations’ set forth by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in regard to how a vehicle should be maintained.
One of these regulations is that any vehicle over 100,000 miles need to have a vehicle diagnostic system (DDS) installed in it in order for the vehicle to pass the test. If the vehicle is not equipped with a DDS, then it is required to undergo a ‘detected fault’ repair performed by the mechanic. However, this is not the only way to repair the vehicle and there are other options for repairs as well. So, when looking for a scanner, take a look at the capabilities of each device before purchasing it.
For example, some of the better auto-diagnostic scanners also offer support for remote diagnostics. This means that if you are in a shop and cannot make it to the technician due to an emergency, you can still receive the information that you need from the scanner on a computer network via a modem. Some of the auto-diagnostic devices will even allow for real time data updates with the software. This will allow the technician to immediately find out if there is anything wrong and fix it immediately, as opposed to waiting until you arrive at the garage.
If your system has a CD changer, you may not be able to take it with you to the shop; however, some models offer the option for an auxiliary input. With this feature, you can plug in the device and get instant access to the data that you need without having to connect to the system through the factory diagnostic console or through a USB port.
Look at the data output capabilities of each auto-diagnostic scanner, as well as the software features. Some scanners offer several different types of reporting to suit each individual customer’s need; however, you need to pay attention to what kind of diagnostic data is actually reported back to your vehicle’s diagnostic computer.
A software based auto-diagnostic scanner should provide you with real time readings on your vehicle’s fuel consumption, engine coolant levels, oil pressure and oil temperature. This should be done on a real time basis.
Data that is read back to the diagnostic computer should also display the vehicle’s emissions, voltage levels, tire pressure, battery voltages, brake pressure and tire pressure. If there is anything that cannot be read back to the diagnostic computer, it should be obvious from the display on the auto-diagnostic scanner.
Another factor to look at is the warranty that comes with the auto-diagnostic scanner that you purchase. Some manufacturers offer a one year warranty; however, others only offer a limited warranty. Read the warranty carefully to find out if it includes the replacement of parts, the cost of labor, parts replacement and/or a deductible on labor costs. You do not want to get caught without a scanner if you should ever find that the machine breaks down or does not work on a regular basis.
The warranty for these scanners can be anywhere from six months to a year, but most come with just one year. In addition, the warranties vary from company to company, so you may find one that offers more or less than what you would expect.
There are also several online sites that are devoted to offering reviews for many different brands and models of diagnostic devices. If you search around, you should find many reviews written by people who have owned the scanners and know what to expect when using them.
Having the best diagnostic data for your vehicle is important if you want to ensure that everything runs smoothly and you get the best possible care when it comes to diagnosing problems with your vehicle. That way, you will always be able to make sure that you get the best possible results when it comes to repair.