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OBD2 Scan Tool Diagnostic Kit for Novices

The most frequent inquiry we have is simply ‘what is the best obd2 scan tool diagnostic kit for novices or beginners’. This information should also interest professionals or enthusiasts that have not yet made the leap to using a PC as an obd2 scan tool instead of a dedicated tool.

If you have already purchased an obd2 scan tool similar to the 2X80S then you have part of what you need. Then you need only add information to assist you. If you do not yet have an obd2 scan tool it is time to consider everything you should have at your disposal to make your diagnostics easier.

Typically, when you purchase a scan tool such as the 2X80S you receive a CD or a download file that contains the drivers for the tool and some free or demo obd2 scan tool  software. This is enough to get the tool communicating with the laptop and with the vehicle to retrieve very basic information.

Where the problem arises is now that you have some basic information (PID  data) from the vehicles PCM, what do you do with that data and how do you know if the data is correct or incorrect?

Sure you can search on the internet and possibly find some answers. You might even get some answers from forums like Yahoo answers. Or you could pay a professional service to answer your question like justanswers.com. How do you know if any of the information you receive is right or even close to being accurate?  It is most unfortunate but many people answering questions in these places provide the wrong information. Whether they supply the wrong information because they simply do not know, or are trying to misdirect you, or are trying to direct you to some affiliate site is unknown, but it does happen far too often.

There is a better alternative, obtain the Product Service Training guides that vehicle manufacturers supplied to their dealership service personnel to train them in the correct way of diagnosing the vehicle. The vehicle manufacturers did not supply these for any noble purpose, they simply wanted to keep unnecessary parts replacement out of the equation which also reduced their warranty cost and improved Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) ratings. These are the same goals that you have, right?

Product Service Training guides like the General Motors Computer Command Control Fundamentals will thoroughly explain how each component in the system was designed to work. Then you will need another publication like the General Motors Computer Command Control Performance Diagnostics. This publication will guide you through proper testing. Publications like these were produced by the original engineers where they truly laid “all the cards on the table” because it was a new field and they needed to explain it in depth and provide a proper foundation for the mechanics. The other alternative is a software program like Shop Foreman Diagnostics which was originally sold to mechanics to guide them in testing.

These publications are older, but how the components are constructed, designed to work and methods of testing are still the same today. The advances in automotive onboard diagnostics are still built using many of the early designs and testing methods. The updated testing methods are simply refinements of the original approach. Hard copy publications like these are available from limited sources as most were destroyed because they were constantly referenced by mechanics in the harsh service environment. Try to obtain either an original hard copy set or a digitized set of the manuals.

While you are thinking about this obd2 scan tool diagnostic  kit, consider the fact that you need to maximize your investment so that it can pay for itself or even provide some part time income as you gain knowledge. You should consider adding diagnostic adapter cables like the GM 12 pin adapter cable, or the BMW 20 pin cable, or the Mercedes 38 pin cable. These will add more function and capabilities to you tool for very minimal investment.

If you add the GM 12 pin adapter cable you will need a good collection of OBD I scan tool software programs, and some guides that will allow to access the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) in the OBD I vehicles that were not as sophisticated as the General Motors vehicles of the era. These guides are supplied on our GM OBD I software CD and are also available on the website.

After you have used your new OBD2 Scan Tool diagnostic kit and gained that experience, you will most likely discover that the free and demo software that came with the obd2 scan tool is not really adequate to do the job quickly. When you arrive at this decision point consider professional quality scan tool software like OBD2Spy, and ScanMaster as these programs will further enhance your diagnostic ability and reduce the time required.

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Comparing our 2X80S to 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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