What are car diagnostic tools?


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If you don’t already have one or more car diagnostic tools in your garage, workshop or MOT testing station, then you should know that owning one can significantly improve and speed up vehicle diagnosis and repair times, leading to the ability to repair more cars in less time and hence increasing your revenue.

What are car diagnostic tools?

Car diagnostic tools work by scanning a car’s individual components and systems to look for any issues that might be present with parts like the engine, ignition system, transmission, oil tank, accelerator, and more. However, since these tests need special devices and expertise to be read accurately, they are usually carried out by mechanics at garages or MOT testing stations.

A vehicle diagnostic tool is a diagnostic scanner that can be plugged into an OBD (OBD I) or OBD2  (OBD II) socket to read and clear codes, as well as view data readouts from various sensors. This can be used to help diagnose problems with a vehicle.

What are the different types of car diagnostic tools?

Car diagnostic tools usually refer to the ODB or ODB2 tools used for diagnosing engine management, and electrical or mechanical faults with a car, but there are several other tools which fall into this category.

These are the top 5 types of car diagnostic scanners available today:

  • ODB1 car scanners: used to scan Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) on old vehicles, petrol cars earlier than 2001, diesel vehicles manufactured earlier than 2004 in the UK, and any vehicle manufactured before 1996 in the USA
  • ODB2 car scanners: used to scan Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) on all modern cars and vehicles
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS): used to monitor and alert to tyre pressure reduction or increase by 25% or more from manufacturers’ recommended inflation levels
  • Circuit Testers and Multimeters: used to test electrical circuits and can be used to measure voltage, electric current, electrical resistance and electrical continuity to help determine where certain electrical problems may exist
  • Car Battery Testers: a voltmeter used to test the charge in a car battery, often this functionality is combined with the ability to charge or trickle charge the battery and prevent overcharging by constantly monitoring the voltage and condition of the battery

Is it worth buying a car diagnostic tool?

Yes.  If you are a garage, workshop, MOT Bay or mobile mechanic then having a car diagnostic machine is an essential part of your toolbox. With almost all modern cars having elements controlled and monitored by the car’s computer and ODB system, the diagnosis of a problem can be done infinitely faster, or sometimes can only really be determined by the use of a car diagnostic tool.

With older cars prior to 2001, it is somewhat harder due to the ODB standard not being in place and hence it can be more difficult or expensive to ensure you have the correct equipment to read the codes from each vehicle, but for petrol cars built since 2001 and diesel since 2004, the ODB2 standard makes owning a single diagnostic device affordable and essential for any mechanic to have available to do their job quickly and efficiently.

Want To Know More?

For more information read our full blog post, or to discuss your diagnostic tools please contact Concept Garage Equipment today on 0113 469 0572.

We currently have a special offer on TOPDON diagnostic tools, selling at £100 off RRP, please visit our website or call us to order whilst stocks last.