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How to use OBD2 code reader

universal auto diagnostic tool
Basically, there are two types of OBD II code reader in the market today. A handheld scanner that incorporates OBD 1 and OBD2 code reader are much more expensive. There is also OBDII scanner prior to 1996 that have different plug requirement. For older models between 1991 and 1995 such as GM, Ford or Chrysler, have different connector for plug-in to the OBD scan devices. As for the makes, there are many choices to choose from ranging from the more popular brands such as Equus OBD, Actron scanners, Autoxray scanner and OTC Genisys to name a few.  

How to use OBD2 code reader
Make sure whether your car is in line with OBD2 system.Cars compliant with OBD2 will have a female 16-pin connector on the driver's side near the center console. Locate the 16-pin connector.For different car models, the connector's location varies, too. It may be under the steering wheel, the driver's foot well, the area between the driver and passenger seat, behind the ash tray, under the passenger seat, or over the passenger door.Check the connector for available pins.The most essential pins are pin 4 and pin 5 for grounding and pin 16 for power supply from the buttery.Connect your OBD2 code reader.Plug the end of the cables with the 16-pin connector to the female 16-pin port, and then connect the other end of the cable to the OBDII code reader.If you don't like to buy a OBD2 code reader, you can use your PC instead, by simply connecting your PC with the car by a USB or Bluetooth connector. But the OBD2 software is indispensable.Wait for the OBDII code reader to initialize.
Automatically, the OBDII code reader will check your car's computer to find out what protocol to use and then connect.Check your service manual for an interpretation of the code.
Different OBD2 Code Reader may specialized in different function area. When buying, take your practical usage into consideration.
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Checking Codes

To get started,plug the scan tool into the OBD II connector under the dash. Turn the key on, but don't start the engine. The tool will ask for a number of things such as the VIN, the make and model of the vehicle and the engine type. Follow the onscreen instructions.

You'll get an option to check for trouble codes, as well as a couple of other menu choices. Some higher-end scan tools give you a text explanation of the code onscreen. Others give you a CD-ROM or just a paper pamphlet listing what the codes mean. Your best bet is to search the Web for a trouble-code list on a site that focuses on your particular vehicle--there will be information that might be far more helpful than just the code. When you read these codes, write them down before resetting the MIL indicator.

Inspection and maintenance (I/M) readiness will likely be another menu option. If you've turned off the MIL, your car needs to be driven until the PCM is sure that the fault has been corrected. How long? Every manufacturer has its own ideas, but a few days of normal driving should fulfill what are called I/M readiness tests. Why do you care? Because if you go to the DMV or an independent station for an inspection, the technician will plug in his own scan tool, and if your car hasn't passed I/M readiness, there'll be no sticker for you. I/M readi­ness is to keep people from sneaking a poorly running car through the emissions test by clearing codes just before pulling up to the DMV.

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