Factors to Consider When Buying an OBD Scanner

Diagnosing vehicle problems was quite an uphill task until 1966, when On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) was made mandatory for vehicles. This revolutionary upgrade is a vehicle’s computer box and comes with a port you can use to self-diagnose your vehicle. If you notice a malfunction, you will need an OBD scanner to carry out these tests. These scanners have various uses that range from reading to clearing fault codes. But lack of understanding brings about misconceptions like the ability to fix fault codes. Therefore, you need detailed information when shopping for them. The best way to find out is by using search queries like What is an obd scanner? But with many upgrades, you must consider some factors to get the right one when buying them. 

Intended use

There are basic models with limited functionality and high-end ones with more features and functionality. You should go for the simpler one if you are in for notification of problems that need diagnostics. But if you need on-screen information, data logging, and live feed, the high-end one will suit you. However, note that some unscrupulous vendors can exploit your lack of knowledge to shortchange you, and that’s why you need a better understanding beforehand. 

Type of OBD scanner

OBD scanners come in different types. For instance, there is the PC-based and Bluetooth scanner. The former draws power from the PC to function, while the latter is handheld. Each of these scanners has a different user interface. So, it will be best to consider the ease of use and understanding when choosing one.  


Since car models are gradually updated, there is always compatibility problem with these scanners. Therefore, checking if your car is compatible with the scanner will be best before placing your order. You need to check the compatibility percentage on the product description to help you with the process. Alternatively, you can join online forums where users discuss the OBD scanners and ask if the one you want to buy will function in your car model. 

Possibility of an Upgrade

The possibility of future upgrades is also a factor you should consider when shopping for these scanners. An upgrade will enable you to access improved features without buying a new one. While on it, it will help if you choose an OBD scanner that can work on new car models. You can find this information in the user review of the scanners’ previous models. 


Like other electronic devices, the price of the OBD scanner is proportional to its functions. Basic ones come with free lifetime updates but limit you on functionality. You must budget for an advanced scanner if you want more functions. However, not that you break the bank only if necessary because a simple model will work unless you want to fix the problem yourself. 

OBD scanners changed car diagnostics. Unlike before, you can now run a test and know the problem before heading to the repair store. Doing this saves you a lot because the mechanic won’t mess around and overcharge you. However, you need to understand these scanners well before usage. The best way to learn is through using a search query like What is an obd scanner? You can then consider the factors you have read about here to make a sound decision while acquiring yours. 


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