Have you ever taken your car to a mechanic and seen him use some sort of scanning tool that hooks up to a port in your car?
You might have found yourself dumbfounded at that moment, thinking that technology has come so far that diagnosing car problems only requires attaching a scanning device.
It’s interesting to learn, however, that the use of this tool dates back about three decades ago.
In fact, all cars manufactured after 1996 come with an OBD-2 port.
A Look Back At OBD
First, let’s talk about the history of OBD, or on-board diagnostics. This refers to the ability of any vehicle to report issues within the system.
The primary benefit is that it detects problems even before you notice any symptoms. Whether it’s low-fuel economy, poor performance, or heavy emissions, you’ll be alerted so you can take action right away.
The Check Engine light comes on when the OBD detects any problems with your car. And since the engine is the life of your vehicle, you should keep it in tiptop condition as much as you can.Even car rental or car leasing companies like CVS Ltd use the technology in order to help them keep their cars in great shape so minimizing costs associated with mechanics and breakdowns.
Take the car to a mechanic and you can expect him to take out his scanning tool to get to the root cause of the problem immediately.
Back in the day, each car manufacturer created their own OBD. This required mechanics to have different scanning devices for each manufacturer.
This was resolved by the introduction of OBD-1 in 1987. All manufacturers were required by law to use OBD-1, but the system still had plenty of shortcomings.
In 1996, OBD-2 ports were released. All systems work similarly, although there may be slight variations.
Do I Need OBD-2 Bluetooth?
As you can imagine, OBD-2 is used heavily be professional mechanics. They hook up their scanning tool to the OBD-2 port to see issues with the car which cannot be detected on the surface.
This might make you think whether it’s worth getting an OBD-2 Bluetooth as an average consumer. And all of these systems come with free software and even apps so monitoring is as easy as checking your phone. And it all hooks to your car via Bluetooth, so no wires are anything “technical” like routers and such.
There’s a good chance you won’t be using the scanner all the time, especially if your engine isn’t in bad shape. But over the years, several manufacturers have introduced scanners geared toward regular folks. We even use them here at Used Cars For Sale at AutoNation.com.
Modern scan tools can turn your desktop or laptop into a powerful diagnostic device.
You can also get your hands on an OBD-2 Bluetooth scanner which enables you to connect your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth.
This makes it convenient to diagnose your car, as you’re only a few taps away from seeing what issues you have under the hood.
What’s interesting is that these modern scanning devices do not only tell you about potential issues with your car. It also gives detailed information about several useful metrics such as speed, miles per gallon, emissions, and RPM.
These metrics prove beneficial in determining how well your car performs. If you see a dip in performance, there may be a problem that needs to be fixed to get your car running optimally again.
If you want to stay on top of what’s going on in your engine, then you may want to get yourself an OBD-2 Bluetooth.
It offers much more than a standard diagnostic tool, enabling you to be more aware of your car’s overall performance.