What Problems can There be With Using OBD Scan Tools?

Like in most tools, scan tools are not an exceptional category when it comes to having problems. At any given point, a tool is bound to fail. Most OBD scan tools are known to have some problems. These problems however are not usually open given the several benefits the users get from the OBD scan tools.

Looking at OBD I and OBD II tools, the level of experiences may be different depending on the nature of the check engine light fault. It is however notable that most scan tools have the following problems;

Updatability problems

This is not a universal problem though it is seen with most of the OBD scans of the old generation. Because of the compatibility issues, this range of scan tools known as readers will definitely not cover the requisite protocols. This makes them not to be able to scan newer car models.

It is however notable that with lack of updatable feature, the owner or technician may at times be forced to source for an alternative OBD scan tool. This is bound to cost money in terms of purchase of a new scan tool or the consultation of the mechanic.

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While the cost of purchasing some of the scan tools is relatively lower, it is seen as one of the biggest problem in most of the scan tools. Some OBD scan readers cost higher even if they do not cover the OBD protocols that are expected of them. In this regard, the cost function may even rise when such a machine forces the owner to seek the services of the mechanic.


The use of most of the OBD scan tools is rather simple compared to the past experiences. This may be true though the codes as they are referred to are in most cases not easy to understand to a beginner. The need for interpretation of the code meaning which in most cases takes the help of the mechanic could involve the use of substantial amounts of money.

In this case, what is usually believed to be convenient in terms of cost may turn out to be conduit for the mechanic making substantial amounts from the owner without having to sweat. In addition, some of the scan tools are hard to connect given the complicated requirements of the software may prove to be quite inconveniencing if you are not a software Guru.

In most cases, the OBD scan tools are purchased with prior research on the compatibility of the tool.  It may not be easy to know whether the tool will work or not. This is precisely because some of the scan tools promise to code on certain ranges but when put in practice, they fail miserably.


The overall make of most of the OBD scan tools just looks perfect on the outside. However, the differences in terms of features and their covering scope may at times prove to be quite a challenge if you are a beginner.  It is in this regard that OBD tool packages are usually confusing and may make one to purchase an inappropriate tool.

The package issue is also one thing which is at the heart of the OBD scan tool debate. With the several parts in the package, the novice is usually put at a disadvantage if you are not well versed with how the parts work. For instance, if the tool works in the multilingual global dialects, then one has to know at least one. Not knowing this still makes one have the need for consultation.

OBD scan tool problems are not cast on stone and are bound to be corrected if the user is well informed. Most of this is found on the user manual. It is also good to learn how your car functions at the point of purchase because most cars are fitted with the tool at manufacture.

Rick Man Joorian

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