How Does a CAN OBD2 Scan Tool Work?

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A CAN OBD2 scan tool is needed if you need to check the problem that occurs in your car’s systems when the Check Engine Light on the dashboard turns on. This light signifies an alarming situation that you have to deal with as soon as possible. The situation can be as trivial as loose fuel cap, but also can be as serious as a problematic engine. The severity of the problem is determined by how the Check Engine Light appears. If it turns on but doesn’t flash, you can consider the problem slight and insignificant. Serious problems occur when the light flashes.

How Does the Scan Tool Work?

When you plug in your CAN OBD2 scan tool into the OBD2 port in your car, which is usually located near the steering wheel under the dashboard, the OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostic) system of your car will send a 5-character code to the scanner that helps you identify the problem that occurs in your car so that you can do the right repair procedure accordingly.

How Does the OBD System Deliver the Code?

The OBD system is a diagnostic system that reads every single component of the car that is connected to the car’s computer system and generates a unique code that signifies a particular problem in any of the car’s components. How can this system do such reading? This is where the CAN (Connected Area Network) bus plays its role. When the OBD system has to read your car’s component data, there is a large amount of data that has to be transmitted. This complex reading process needs a reliable data channel to ensure seamless data transmission.

Is the reading task a complex one? Given that all parts of your car are actually connected to a computer, so the answer is yes, it is complex. CAN bus acts as a data channel that transfers a big amount of car component data to the car’s computer. OBD system reads from this data and provides a diagnostic code to you through your scanner.

Can Your OBD Scan Tool Get the Code?

It is important to know that CAN is not the only transport protocol used in vehicles. Other network protocols, such as LIN and MOST, are also used in lieu of CAN. Therefore, your OBD Scan Tool may or may not be able to get an OBD code from a car with CAN bus.

However, because CAN bus is considered the standard, most scan tools should be able to retrieve the code generated by an OBD2 system that uses CAN bus. To make sure that your scan tool can work with your car’s OBD2 system, be sure to buy a CAN OBD2 scan tool or a scan tool that is confirmed to work with CAN bus.

Nonetheless, your scan tool’s compatibility with CAN bus should not actually cause a big concern to you. As mentioned above, most OBD2 scan tools support the standard CAN bus. Therefore, almost every OBD2 scan tool that you can buy on the market today is actually a CAN OBD2 scan tool.

Tags: #OBD2 scan tool

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