7 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing an OBD-II Scan Tool

On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) is a computer-based diagnostic system in most modern vehicles.

The right OBD-II Scan Tool can make diagnosing and repairing your car more accessible.

However, with dozens of options on the market today, it often takes more work to decide which one you need for your vehicle.

In this article, we'll discuss seven key things to look for when selecting an OBD-II scan tool so that you can buy the best device for your car maintenance needs.


What You Should Know Before Purchasing an OBD-II Scan

An OBD-II Scan Tool is great for any vehicle owner wishing to diagnose and repair their car. Here's what you need to know before making that purchase:

  • Compatibility: Many scan tools claim to be compatible with all OBD-II protocols, but that's only sometimes the case. Be sure to double-check the compatibility of your device before you make a purchase. Look for a tool compatible with all five OBD-II protocols and offers automatic protocol detection for maximum flexibility. The Innova 3030 is an excellent example of an OBD-II Scan Tool designed for universal compatibility across all vehicles.
  • Code reader vs full system scanner: A code reader should suffice if you only need to read diagnostic codes from your vehicle. These are usually lower-cost options than their full-system counterparts and are ideal for DIYers who want to diagnose simple check engine light issues. However, a complete system scanner is the way to go if you need to perform more in-depth diagnostics or reprogramming tasks.
    car fixing
  • Live data streaming: Many scan tools offer live data streaming capabilities, which allow you to view real-time vehicle information such as fuel economy, RPMs, and temperature readings. It helps determine whether there are any underlying problems with your car's performance that don't register on the diagnostic codes alone.
  • Cost: OBD-II Scan Tools can vary significantly depending on their features and functions. As a general rule of thumb, code readers tend to be much less expensive than full-system scanners, with the Innova 3030 No matter which you select, ensure it has enough features to meet your needs without breaking the bank.
  • User-friendliness: Most scan tools are designed with the end user in mind, which makes them relatively easy to use. However, some higher-end tools may require more technical knowledge to operate correctly. Check customer reviews before you purchase or ask for a free trial from the manufacturer to see how intuitive the interface is.
  • Connectivity: Make sure your scan tool can connect to a laptop or smartphone via USB, wireless, or Bluetooth. This way, you can keep track of all the data from your car in an organized manner and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Software support: Once you've selected the OBD-II Scan Tool that best meets your needs, it's essential to ensure a regularly updated software package supports the device. Check for online user forums and customer review sites to get an idea of how satisfied people are with their particular scan tool.

Considering these seven things before purchasing an OBD-II Scan Tool, you can ensure that the device you select has all the features and functions you need for hassle-free automobile maintenance. Consider investing in a quality tool like Innova 3030 to get started on the right foot. Proper use and care will serve as your reliable companion for many years to come.

What are Some of the Benefits of Using an OBD2 Scanner?

The main benefit of using an OBD-II Scan Tool is that it saves time and money by allowing you to diagnose check engine light issues quickly and accurately. You can also use it to monitor and control vehicle performance, allowing you to optimize your car's fuel efficiency.

Additionally, some tools are equipped with features like live data streaming, which allow you to view real-time information such as RPMs and temperature levels while driving. It is beneficial for diagnosing any underlying issues that may not be detected by the diagnostic codes alone.

car fixing advice

Finally, some OBD-II Scan Tools come with manufacturer-specific software that allows users to customize vehicle settings, adjust idle speed and air/fuel ratios, reprogram keys/ECU/fobs, and more - ultimately giving you greater control over your vehicle's performance.


An OBD-II Scan Tool is an excellent tool for car owners to have on hand. It can help you save both time and money by allowing you to diagnose check engine light issues quickly and accurately and monitor and control vehicle performance for better fuel efficiency. Some of the higher-end models also come with additional features that allow users to customize vehicle settings and reprogram keys/ECUs/fobs.

Ultimately, having an OBD-II Scan Tool is a great way to make your car ownership experience more enjoyable and hassle-free. So if you're looking for a reliable tool to help you get the most out of your vehicle, consider investing in one today.

Author - Fred Felton
Fred Felton          

Content Creator / Editor

Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the motorbiking adventure space, focussing on all types of biking both on and offroad. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.


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