Fault Code readers, Which one?
Car Fault Code Readers are available in a lot of different forms now and it can be a little daunting choosing the best one for your needs. Now at Scantool Direct, we offer a few different fault code readers and each one is designed to work on a particular brand of vehicle, We can supply a scantool for almost any car or light commercial vehicle on the roads today.
The LAUNCH CR5001 is an excellent all round engine diagnostic tool
Generic OBDii Fault Code Readers:
OBD2 code readers are an affordable way to read the engine systems of all supported OBD2 compliant vehicles. Tools such as the LAUNCH CR5001 or the Foxwell NT301 scanner and the PC Based OBDLink SX will read the engine management on a wide variety of vehicles and is an ideal tool if you just want to keep an eye on your vehicles engine.
How do I know my car/van is OBD2 compliant?.
As a general rule, UK and European market cars with petrol engines will be OBD2 compliant from December 2000 to current year, most generic OBD2 scanners will work fine on these cars,
The Diesel Dilemma!
UK and European market Diesels were generally compliant from 2004 but the amount of information available from the ECU was limited and sometimes the generic OBD2 scanners would not pick up a fault even though the engine light was on, This is not a fault with the scanner, it is the ECU limiting the amount of information sent to the scan tool to the bare minimum, emission related info, faults with injectors, or some sensors such as CAMshaft or knock sensors could be faulty and the generic tool would not see these faults due to the ECU not sending this information to the scanner. In this case we would recommend buying the manufacturer specific scan tool as it will read the faults using the manufacturer protocol so will pull any codes stored from the ECU, and to confuse things even more, a generic tool will clear a fault even though it cannot see the fault. We would advise caution when working on Diesel engines with a generic OBD2 tool as you could end up replacing parts or sensors that will not rectify the fault due to the generic tool not seeing the real problem
An example OBD2 compliant car
if you own a 2002 Vauxhall Astra or any other car with a petrol engine, then it would be able to be scanned with an generic OBD2 tool, but if you owned a 1999 Vauxhall Astra it will not work with the OBD2 tool to scan this vehicle you would need the Vauxhall specific scanner which will work on pre OBD2 cars.
Diesels were compliant from 2004 to current year, An example here would be a 2005 Ford Mondeo TDCi, it will work with an OBD2 scanner, whereas a 2003 one wont. Commercials are different again. Example here is a Renault Trafic, a 2005 one will not support OBD2 but a 2007 one will. Remember this is just for OBD2 scanners, the manufacturer specific tools will work on pre OBD2 compliant vehicles.
An Example of an advanced Single Manufacturer enabled Tool
BMW BM-II Advanced tool for BMW and Mini
As an example we will take a look at the icarsoft BM-II BMW and Mini scanner. The coverage this tool has for the BMW group is an example of what you can expect on any of the iCarsoft manufacturer specific tools.
This tool as the name suggests will be compatible with BMW and Mini vehicles from late 1990 through to approx 2012, with capability far exceeding the functions of an OBD2 scanner. In general the coverage is very good allowing users to read and clear fault codes in nearly all the control modules, examples are: Engine, ABS/ASC, SRS, Body, Immobiliser, Light control, Transmission, etc etc. The New BM-II includes Service reset, EPB electric parking brake function and DPF reset.
There are other scanners for most makes of vehicles such as the Renault group fault code reader, the Peugeot scan tool, Vauxhall Opel scanner, Land Rover, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes Benz to name a few, most other car manufacturers are covered by the icarsoft range of tools.
Any questions about OBD2 or vehicle compatibility can be sent to us, our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be glad to help you with choosing the best fault code reader for your job.