My husband does most of our automotive repairs. I have learned when hubby asks for a tool it’s usually worth the money to get one. A few years ago he asked for a ODB2 Scanner. I hadn’t heard of these so I was curious. After we got one I was AMAZED to know this wasn’t something everyone had. This one Tool Can Save You Hundreds on Auto Repairs because it helps you diagnose issues!
ODB2 scanners can tell you what the check engine light means. Yes, you can now find out what those troublesome lights mean!
The best part is, they are inexpensive. Which makes it a great thing to keep on hand for when those little check engine message pops up.
While some auto part shops will do this for free, most won’t and will charge quite a bit just to tell you what the code means. It’s actually a lot easier to have it on hand to check for yourself. Especially if you have an older car with issues.
Imagine not paying a diagnostic fee to your mechanic for something simple like the gas cap not being screwed on correctly (Yes, this happened to me!!!). If I had taken it to the dealership it would have cost $200 to find out I didn’t screw the gas cap in!
That is why these little scanners are so valuable. Buy it once and you have an in-house mechanic forever. It won’t fix your car every time, but it gives you a great resource to find out what is wrong. Use the scanner to determine the 4 digit number and go to OBI-Codes to check for what that code stands for. Doing a little Googling when you find the code can help you determine what is wrong.
Another really great reason for having one is you can tell when a shop is being honest with you. Scanner says the gas cap is lose and the shop is saying you need a new engine. It might be time to shop around.
Disclaimer – If you have zero mechanical abilities please do not try to fix your own car. I am merely stating these tips, especially a scanner may help you find out what the problem is and, therefore it can save you a lot of money if you take it to a mechanic. Or it could tell you it is something super easy to fix like my gas cap.