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Car Scanner, Should I have one?

An OBD2 Scan Tool, sometimes referred to as a car scanner or more simply a scan tool is a very reliable gadget that can be used to diagnose many of the ailments that your car will experience over its serviceable life.

These are really simple devices that connect your cars computers to your laptop or to your cell phone. They are extremely easy to install and use. The better scanners such as the 2X80S come with installation guides.

Many of the scanners include a few free, trial or open source car scanner software programs. These OBD2 Scan Tool Software programs typically can provide you with data, and turn off the check engine lights. The better scanner software programs provide you with advanced features such as graphing different sensors, called PIDs, and performance testing such as a 0-62mph test.

Almost every month a carmaker is adding more and more computers to their cars as well as adding new features, like Porsche’s latest gimmick of automatically controlling the aerodynamics (wing on the back of the soon to be released Porsche 918 Spyder- 55 computers onboard). This new system is diagnosed using an OBD2 Scan Tool.

High end car makers are not the only ones using such advanced features; the Ford Fusion has 70 computers. Many other cars, even ones as old as 1996 model year cars have multiple computers, and all are diagnosed with a laptop scan tool. With this many computers on cars, it stands to reason that we are going to see more and more failures, and check engine lights illuminating.

This proliferation of computers and features integrated into every car is not going to slow down. Unfortunately, this creates problems such as most professional mechanics, even those at the car maker’s dealerships, are not even aware such systems are being integrated into the cars, but they don’t know how they work or even how to test them.

Additionally, most of the older ‘Baby Boomer’ and ‘Gen X’ mechanics that grew up with these systems and understand them are either retiring from the industry or moving on to better paying jobs. This unfortunately reduces the available knowledge pool and creates a ‘rush mentality’ for those left behind doing the repairs which causes more and more misdiagnosis and parts swapping.

This parts swapping is both extremely costly, but very time wasting which neither of these conditions aid in properly repairing the cars without excessive costs.

A car scan tool should be viewed as important as a spare tire on your car.

Why you ask?

Just imagine what would happen if you were taking the kids on vacation and the check engine light came on while traveling. You would of course become nervous and very agitated. Now add to that the idea of getting off the highway, finding a repair shop open and being able to get your car looked at. If you are lucky enough to find a shop that knows what they are doing, has the time to check it, and is honest. Most likely you are going to be tied up for several hours, plus it will cost you a few hundred dollars.

Here is an alternate scenario to that. The same thing happens, but instead you get off the highway or enter a rest stop. You keep the car running and get your 2X80S Scan tool from the glove box, connect it to your laptop, tablet pc or cell phone. You check the codes and data with the car scanning software.

You open the browser on your device and log into a relevant forum like Yahoo Answers, then search based on the info you have.

Most likely someone else has experienced the same thing and the question has already been asked and answered. You read the answer, and if the repair is a minor one, or will not affect your driving reliability you can continue your trip after recording the data and clearing the codes using the scan tool software.

Now, you are more relaxed and your vacation is back on track. Plus you still have that money in your wallet versus reducing your available vacation funds. This is all from a very inexpensive and reliable gadget like a usb scan tool or wifi device.

Soon China will be exporting cars into the USA like the Qoros brand, and I see the day that car makers start including a scan tool in with a new car as an essential component. So get one today and carry it with you in your car, and if you have several cars, place one in each car. It is like the old saying “It is better to have an umbrella and not need it. Than to need it and not have it.”

Besides a professional quality scan tool like the 2X80S can last for years, be moved from one PC to another and are very inexpensive.

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Comparing our 2X80S with competitors

Controls Data Corruption
Improved Data Speed
Enhanced Software Included
Phone Tablet PDA Capable
Multiple PC Applications
Multiple Phone Tablet PDA Applications
2 Wheel Vehicle Applications
Component Specs
OBD Training
Legacy OS Support
  Yes or Included           No or not included              Some or limited
All above information is based on published information as of 01/2015 or products purchsed to confirm

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