Modern cars are equipped with an electronic control unit (ECU), which stores, among other things, error codes in encrypted form. This information is essential for identifying the problem and, then, troubleshooting. For a long time, error codes could only be accessed using proprietary scanners, but such equipment was too expensive and only suitable for cars from one manufacturer. The situation changed dramatically when multi-brand auto scanners appeared: they work with European, American and Asian car models, while also being much cheaper than branded counterparts.
Ease of use can also be attributed to their advantages: such devices are accompanied by intuitive software (software that can be based on Windows, Android or iOS) and it is not difficult to master the process of controlling and configuring them. Connecting the device to the car’s ECU will not cause problems either: it can be implemented not only with wires, but also wirelessly (via Bluetooth). Thanks to these features, the devices quickly gained great popularity: they started being used by both car owners themselves and car service stations.
According to the design features of the device, there are two types: autonomous and adaptive. In the first case, we are talking about equipment that allows you to diagnose malfunctions without using third-party devices. To do this, a stand-alone multi-brand auto scanner features a screen and control buttons. The downside of the autonomous type is that they have rather large dimensions and limited functionality (they feature only basic capabilities).
Auto scanners of the second type are much more compact, they can easily fit in the glove compartment of a car, but they will have to be connected to an external device for diagnostics: a tablet, smartphone or laptop. In terms of functionality and capabilities, adaptive auto scanners are not inferior to branded counterparts.
Equipment capabilities for fault diagnosis
The high demand for auto scanners is also explained by the fact that they allow you to perform a wide range of actions:
- reading error codes – codes are decoded in a language understandable to humans;
- erasing error codes;
- adjusting actuators (injectors, relays, ignition modules);
- programming control units;
- performing adaptations, such as throttle valve adaptation.
It should be noted that the set of functions depends on the modification of the diagnostics equipment.
A huge variety of multi-brand auto scanners makes it difficult to purchase such devices. In order not to make a poor decision, you must adhere to certain rules. First, decide on the level of the scanner: you should not buy the most expensive and feature-rich model if you cannot work on it. Some buyers order a scanner “for the future”, but then do not understand the information that the device displays on the screen. In addition, such a purchase will cost much more, which means that the payback period will be much longer.
Second, before buying a device, it is necessary to determine the make and age of the machines that will be diagnosed. You need to understand that even a premium segment device is not able to work with absolutely all makes and models of cars. For example, some specialize in working with personal vehicles, while others specialize in commercial vehicles. In order not to accumulate useless devices in the garage, you need to choose a scanner for a specific task.
When buying a multi-brand auto scanner, buyers also need to pay attention to the device’s cost. Unscrupulous companies, in an effort to attract customers, unreasonably underestimate the price of equipment, but in this case the probability of buying a truly convenient and functional device is significantly reduced. Remember that quality products cannot be unreasonably cheap. Overpaying, of course, is also not worth it, but in order to get the best value for your money, you need to choose the right place to buy a multi-brand auto scanner.
And you can buy multi-brand auto scanners in specialized stores, car services, virtual trading floors and car markets.
Good luck on the road, drivers.
We are an online store of valve caps, wheel center caps, emblems, badges, stickers, keychains, covers and other accessories for various car brands.