HomeCar RepairHow To Use OBD2 Scanner? Step-By-Step Guide

How To Use OBD2 Scanner? Step-By-Step Guide




Imagine driving down the highway, and you notice that the engine light is on. This can be disgusting, but at the same time, a warning of the trouble your car may be having. The use of an Obd scanner can diagnose such an issue.

The OBD II scan tool is the advanced version of the OBD I scanner. OBD stands for onboard diagnostics. The Obd2 was discovered after the year 1996, which is a universal tool and compatible with many cars. On the other hand, the Obd I is vehicle-specific and not as effective as the Obd 2. Onboard diagnostics is the standardized way of getting into your vehicle’s computer. Many cars at the moment use this tool to diagnose computerized issues that your vehicle might be facing.

How To Use OBD2 Scanner Easily?

First, identify what Type of OBD is ideal for your car. If you decide to acquire an Obd 2 scanner, you will require knowing how to use it so that you can read the codes and identify what the problem with your car is. To use this tool effectively, here are the steps of how to use it:

Acquire an Obd 2 scanner

OBD2 scan tools can be found at various auto-parts and online stores. There are different types of Obd II scan readers to choose from. If you have a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, you can decide to download an app to understand the data and get an Obd 2 scan tool that will show the codes and explanations directly on your phone. But there is a difference between Bluetooth and WI-FI OBD-II scanners.

Identify the diagnostic link connector in your car

This can be detected with much ease. It is a triangular-shaped 16-pin connector that is usually based below the left-hand side of the dash close to the steering column. In case you’ve any difficulty detecting the diagnostic link connector, look for the location on the internet by use of your vehicle’s model and year, or check the owner’s manual.

Put the scanner into the diagnostic link connector

The Obd 2 reader functions when the ignition is on. You don’t have to start the engine, but you will see that the scan tool will come to life after turning on your ignition. Ensure you put in the right fuse. If your car is old, be keen to put the tool in the DLC properly.

Related article: Know the functionalities of an OBD2 scanner

Enter in your car data

Some cars will need you to put your vehicle information (VIN) and also the make and model of your car. In addition, you might be needed to specify the engine type. This procedure greatly varies with regard to the scanning tool.

Find the menu

After the scan tool has completed booting up, search for the menu. Open the main codes through trouble codes or codes. This varies depending on the type of car and the year of the car.

Understand what the letters and numbers mean

After installing the OBD scanner, it is important to know the codes, as every code begins with a letter that shows what system the code is referring to. After the letters, the numbers follow and also have their own meaning. For instance, it can be P2xxx. The code list is given below:

P0101 – Issue with your mass airflow

P0113 – You have a problem with your intake air temperature sensor.

P0125 –  It denotes that there is a problem that your engine can’t get proper operating temperature.

P0128 – The vehicle engine isn’t remaining hot enough.

P0135 – It tells your oxygen sensor is malfunctioning.

P0161 – The sensor malfunction and the Check Engine Light illuminating.

P0011 – Issue with the timing of your “A” camshaft.

P0014 – B camshaft on bank 1 is over-advanced.

P0037 – It indicates that the oxygen sensor heating element for the sensor installed in the bank 1 sensor 2 positions.

P0300 – The engine is misfiring continuously.

P0316 – Engine misfire on startup.

P0340 – You have an issue with the vehicle’s camshaft position sensor.

P0440 – Your EVAP system malfunctioning.

P0401 – It denotes the EGR system isn’t redirecting carbon dioxide to your engine as needed.

P0442 – Your car has a small leak in your EVAP system.

P0455 – There’s a leak in your EVAP system.

P0446 – Fix the EVAP vent control circuit.

P0452 – It indicates that there is a low pressure in your EVAP system.

P0456 – You have a leakage in your EVAP system.

P0700 – Issue with your transmission control system.

Diagnose your car

For you to be an expert in diagnosing Obd II codes, you need years of training and practice to diagnose it properly. One thing to note before repairing your vehicle is that the codes alone will not show you what sections of your car have to be replaced or repaired.

Related article: What are the differences between a Code Reader and a Scan Tool?

Reset your check engine light

Check engine light illuminates when your vehicle has a problem. After making repairs, you can reset the check engine light of your car using the Obd 2 readers. First, you have to turn the ignition switch on and turn off all accessories. Then note down the error code as a backup for future reference. Click the erase button on your scanner and remove it from the port. You can also reset the check engine light by disconnecting the vehicle’s battery. This is how you can reset your check engine light.


An Obd II scan tool is excellent equipment that enables a driver to know why the engine light is on and get to diagnose the issue with their car. The steps we’ve provided above can guide you easily, and you will find that using the Obd 2 scanner is very simple.


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