How to Use Car Diagnostic Machine

How many times have you had to drive your car to a mechanic? How long did it take to find the problem before working on it? I guess it is pretty expensive. You have heard of a car diagnostic machine. Have you tried it? Did you know by just an interconnected app you can identify a specific problem in your car’s engine? You can also DIY but how?

Your curiosity caught our attention too. We decided to do it for you. you just have to read to the end. Herein we have incorporated a step-by-step guide on how to use a car diagnostic machine. What to do with it and why it is important to use your diagnostic device. Stay put till the end.

What is a car diagnostic machine?

People buy vehicles expecting to use them for long without problems. On the contrary mechanical problems are part and parcel of car owners’ lives. A common phrase suggests that identifying a problem is half solving it. That is a general definition of a car diagnostic machine.

It is also called an OBD scanner. OBD means On-Board Diagnostics. This means that whatever it is it scans your car by connecting the device to the OBD port. An OBD cable is necessary for some circumstances depending on the manufacturer.

A car diagnostic machine is a specially made car scanner. It uses modern automotive technology to scan and identify faults by analyzing data from vehicle electronics. Through specific codes generated you can identify a specific default to work on. You can DIY or call your mechanic.

How to Use A Car Diagnostic Machine?

Many cars are fitted with a computer system that keeps checking the functionality. The system frequently receives data from various sensors and chips in the engine according to fixd vs hum comparison. Through various adjustments, the car runs smoothly

Doing a car diagnostic test alone, at home, or on the roadside sounds complex. It is not as hard as you think but it is also not a walk in the park. Some steps need to be followed for you to achieve results. Like any other computerized electronic device, you expect accurate results after using it in the right way.

For the process of doing a car diagnostic test to be swift, most cars are fitted with an On-Board Diagnostics version two. Such an interface makes it easier for a mechanic to spot and analyze problems on a variety of vehicles. Below are the steps to follow;

Find where to plug a diagnostic tool

As obvious you should have your car diagnostic device with you and a car to run the test on. You should also have an OBD cable. After having your scanner on your hands, find the diagnostic connector.

Old school vehicles that mostly had OBD 1, had the connectors in the engine compartment. With the latest OBD 2, the connector is always located under the dashboard.

However, the location can change depending on the car model you own. By just using your eyes, you can trace a rectangular or an isosceles trapezoid shape. The connector also has sixteen pins divided into two equal rows having eight each. If this is hard, get your owner’s manual and locate the port. Plugin your device using the OBD cable.

Turn your ignition key off and slowly but gently insert your light code reader cable into the diagnostic connector. It should be an easy task unless you located the wrong port.

After a successful plug-in, turn on your ignition key and this will start the engine. Turning on your engine provides power for the code reader to start.

Enter Required Information

Depending on the model you own, some information will be required. Enter the information directly into the diagnostic machine. The information required can be

  • The model of the car
  • Type of engine
  • Vehicle identification number. (VIN)

After doing that the code reader is set to start its work.

Identify The Diagnostic Trouble Codes. (Dtc)

Specific codes are generated as this is the first step towards finding your problem. With the help of the car diagnostic machine, you can read the error codes on the interface.

They help identify specific areas that might have issues. You can also employ the help of the many OBD 2 scanner car code readers.

For instance, you will notice a diagnostic code P0131.  There Is a specific meaning to each letter.

Interpret And Find Solution

In the error code above, P0131 P- initial part is a letter that refers to a general field. Example letter p means powertrainandu means unidentified.

0-this part is a number and it shows the manufacturer code. It is generalized.

131- the last number shows the area of the problem

1- Air or fuel trouble

2- Injector circuit

7- Transmission problem

The last two numbers can vary due to the car model and manufacturer. They show a localized area problem.

You can clear the error code using your car diagnostic machine on your own. However, on specialized occasions, you might need to call in your mechanic.Having the Diagnostic code will help them work on a specific area. You can watch a video online to fix your car at home.

It is important to use a car diagnostic device because it keeps you on the watch and gives you an upper hand in maintaining your car.


Using a car diagnostic device is not a mystery and you don’t have to be an expert. With the generated codes you can conduct simple fixes that may have cost you a lot of money. The tests are important and should be done regularly to stop small problems from escalating.

However, even if you go for a mechanic you will have prior knowledge to avoid scams. This will see your car stay for a long time without faulting. If you have never heard one, it’s time to go and buy one for your car.

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