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    The Difference between a Scanner and a Basic Code Reader

    2018-08-16

    Don`t be confused: an OBD2 scanner and an OBII code reader can be considered one and the same, but there a few things that set them apart.

    You can read and clear OBD-II trouble codes with a basic code reader, and an OBD-II scanner can also do the same. But that`s where the similarities end, because an OBD-II scanner can do so much more than just display the codes.

    Scanning tools can offer an extensive knowledge base with just a click of a button. This means that you can get more information regarding the fault code in your car, and a scanning tool can also suggest possible fixes for any type of code error.

    An expensive scanning tool will also allow you to print diagnostic and performance data in your PC. Depending on the brand and the software used, scanning tools can display performance graphs so you can easily analyze engine performance and emissions.

    We`re not saying that cheap OBD-II code readers are inferior compared to expensive vehicle scanners, because it all depends on your level of expertise.

    Here are a few important things to remember:

    • Basic OBD-II code readers can read and display codes, and they can also clear the codes or reset the check engine light in your vehicle.
    • There are code readers that can display the names of the trouble codes instead of just showing you the codes, while other code readers can also display freeze frame data and display the readiness monitor status of your car.
    • Cheap code readers often have compatibility issues, and will only work on specific makes and models of vehicles. Sad but true, because OBD-II vehicles use different protocols depending on the vehicle brand and the year model. Vehicle scanners, or those that are considerably more expensive than basic code readers, are more universal in this regard and can work on all vehicles including newer models that use OBD-II CAN protocols (2008 model and higher).
    • Code readers CANNOT provide troubleshooting information, read manufacturer specific codes including ABS and airbag codes, produce a graphical representation of vehicle data, print vehicle information and tuning results and record or play back live engine data. If you want these features, then you should get an OBD2 scanner instead of a basic code reader.

    CY300-4OBD 2 Scanner

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