The OBD II Scan Tool Setup Procedure

The whole process of setting up your OBD 2 scan tool may prove to be the elephant in the room after all. This is because setting up your tool may not be as simple as you may anticipate. Most tools come with comprehensive guidelines that the user is expected to follow.

While at this, the user needs to go through certain procedural guidelines beforehand, which have been found to be of helpful.

These may include:

Use of protective clothing – like all the cases in the garage, the OBD 2 set up procedure is bound to expose the user to diverse flying and gaseous objects. These may not be good for the skin and even the user’s eyes.

Because engine connections may involve interactions with the car battery, cases of acid spills on the garments of the user are common. Clothing should, therefore, be able to withstand corrosive substances.

In addition, the use of gloves and safety goggles may help the user a great deal in mitigating the risks to hands and eyes.

Be aware of the risks– being aware of the diverse risks you are getting into is important. Burns and fire breakouts are quite common in the course of the OBD scan tool setups. For starters, ensure that the positioning of your body conforms to the overall user guidelines laid out in the manuals.

Use of tools– because the engine area where the OBD 2 is inserted is usually a charged area, ensure that you have all the necessary tools to be able to work in the area. In addition, ensure that the tools are not left haphazardly inside the engine compartment.

Get to know the codes beforehand– the OBD 2 scan tools give the user diverse codes and coming to know them in advance can help one develop a clear strategy on how to get the codes. In addition, there are bound to be errors in the course of reading, and knowing when the tool itself is at fault is quite important.

Where it is done– though the car garage is usually the most appropriate place, the do it yourself (DIY) mania has opened up the homes for the use of OBD. Ensure that the place where the tool is used is well ventilated and open enough to reduce the risk of you asking for help to no avail.

Why the OBD 2 set up is important  

  • Helps enable the change of the units.
  • Enables the auto power off time to be changed.
  • Helps turn off the printer header.
  • Enables effective viewing of the OBD information.
  • Allows for effective display of scanned data.
  • Allows for checking of the scan memory
  • Allows for ease of upgrade of the OBD II.

The Setup Process

The OBD scan tool set up process is not a uniform process and it depends on the type and brand of car. While the use of onboard diagnostic scans is desirable, the process of setting one up may be quite involved. When a new tool is bought, some of the things to be done in the course of its setup include;

1. Download the necessary applications

Different OBD 2 scan tools may require a number of applications to be able to work effectively. While this may be so, there are other applications which only work well with the PC.

These applications require proper installations before the OBD scan tool can be connected to the areas where it is connected to the PC. The applications are also important in making the several other areas of the OBD scan tool work well.

In addition, you may include the addition of the several other software programs depending on which OBD you are using. For instance, Bluetooth wireless devices may need the inclusion of the several wireless applications.

2. The use of the data link connector

In most of the OBD scan tools, this is where the car engine is connected to the car. It is comprised of the 16 pin connection points which are usually marked with different colors.

The DLC, as it is popularly known, is  the most vital part of the OBD set up process and is usually conveniently placed for instance on the dashboard for older cars and near the car driver, below the seat to be precise. Connecting each pin to the various areas of connection, like the battery, is important.

3. Connect the OBD 

The OBD 2 requires the connection using one pin among several pins. This is because most of them are considered standalone, as they have their own power sources. The OBD pins are classified to suit the diverse areas.

These 16 pins include:

  1. Manufacturer reserved pin
  2. The J1850
  3. Manufacturer reserved pin
  4. The chassis ground connector
  5. The signal ground
  6. The CAN high, J-2284
  7. The k line, ISO9141-2/DIS 14230-4connector port
  8. Manufacturer reserved pin
  9. Manufacturer reserved pin
  10. J1850 Bus
  11. Manufacturer reserved port
  12. Manufacturer reserved port
  13. Manufacturer reserved port
  14. CAN, J2284 PORT
  15. The L line, ISO 9141 and ISO/ DIS 14230-4
  16. The battery power connection

4. Check when the system is fully set up

The user needs to know how to navigate the aspects of the tool. Some of which include:

  • Keypad– this helps in navigating the tool features by scrolling up and down. The keypad also helps in enabling some of the features of the OBD scan tool.
  • Display– depending on which type of display, this is where the data information is shown. You can  read the data here.
  • Power– though most of the OBD 2 scan tools are standalone, they need the use of car engine power at a given time and so the power connection pin has to be working.

5. Use the OBD Scan 

The ultimate aim of setting up the OBD scan tool is to be used for scanning the car. As long as the OBD scan is compatible with the car, it will work with the car computer system.

With this, you are all set for some great scanning experience.

Rick Man Joorian

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