How to Do Automotive Diagnostics

Published: 30th June 2011
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The diagnostic tests on vehicles depend on the manufacture year. General speaking, vehicles after 1996, they are widely used by second generation of On-Board Diagnostic coding. The cars including trucks are manufactured after 2008, they usually used a tire pressure monitoring system. All the systems are read by diagnostic tool through automotive diagnostic tests. However, if your car is manufactured before 1996, you can ask the manual for help or tell which system your car used.


1. You can visit an automotive shop for a diagnostic tool. As we know, the price of one product is higher, and the function of it is stronger, so no except automotive diagnostic tools. Some higher end diagnostic tools can diagnose more than one system of vehicles. However, the cheaper one only can diagnose OBD-IIcodes. You can depend on your car system to shop for one.

2. Some diagnostic tools are analog model. You should connect it with the outlet on your car. The other side you can connect with your PC. The interface of the tools should be friendly, it will bring you much easy. You also can make full use of the websites like, as these sites will tell you the location of the outlet.

3. Turn on your diagnostic tool. Not all the diagnostic tool needed you to turn on. Some of them will on when a link with a vehicle’s diagnostic system is sensed. The perform process of different brand automotive diagnostic tools might slightly differ. Don’t be worried. The process is basically the same.

4. Insert your key into the vehicle’s ignition and turn on it. If you don’t know which type of your car you can ask your manual.

5. Only wait a few seconds for the diagnostic system have connected with the diagnostic tool. Once the trouble code appears, they will be showed on your automotive diagnostic tool.

6. According the error codes, you can find on your own manual about which error codes means which problems. If you use a diagnostic tool which suit the OBD-II system, the codes will be generic in the "Society of Automotive Engineers". Some specific codes, you might find the problems which they refer. You can write the error codes down, and look it up online.

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