Imagine you and your family are on a road trip, the kids are asking “are we there yet,” and your spouse swears you are lost and that the Google Maps app has not mapped the location in years. You are able to tune most of this out but rush hour traffic is just about to set you over the edge. All of a sudden, while stopped at a light, your recently serviced “mommy van” begins to stutter and stall. What do you do? Who do you call? How could this have been prevented? For the past few years, the emergence of personal use On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) scanners has hit the market. Could these revolutionize the way we gauge the seriousness of our vehicle mechanical issues? I have found a few benefits of owning an OBDII scanner to help you decide if it is time to take your car in or if you can DIY. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy
Taking your vehicle into a mechanic to run a diagnostic check every time the check engine light comes on costs money. If you own an OBDII, you can use the FIXD app to help determine if taking the car to the shop is necessary. The device is connected just under the dash, and it sends info to your phone. The scanner typically costs between $50 and $100.
The “check engine” light illuminates for many reasons, some may need immediate attention and others may not. It could be caused by something as simple as a loose gas cap. The OBDII relays this information. Not only does it assess the severity but can also estimate the cost to fix the issues.
In 1996, vehicle manufacturers were required to use a standard diagnostic method. Code scanners are compatible across many vehicles. If one is purchased, it can be used for multiple vehicles.
These code scanners are portable. If you are just cruising around town or on a cross country trip, it is easy to be notified of problems immediately. They offer peace of mind in a small package.
Knowing exactly what is wrong with the car may make it easier to fix it yourself. Some scanners offer more information than others. There are those that list codes that must be researched and others give more details about what parts are bad. Either way, with Google and Youtube it is much easier to fix the problem on your own.
If your vehicle has been running a little funny or you would prefer a little reassurance that your car can make it on a journey you may want to check out these scanners. Feeling secure knowing that your car can get from point a to point b allows for one less concern. Having