The automotive diagnostic scan tool which is commonly called a in short as diagnostic tool is an electronic tool used to interface with and even used as diagnostic scan tool purposes and sometimes to reprogram vehicular modules.

There are many types of automotive scan tools among which the popular is the Bosch MT2500/MTG2500. Snap-On, OTC/SPX,  Autel, Launch, Autologic, Abrites, Autohex, HexTag Programmer and a number of other companies produce various types of scan tools ranging from simple code readers to bi-directional computers with special programming capabilities.

The operation of the diagnostic scan tool is easy as it is connected to the data link of the vehicle depending on the particular tool, may only read out diagnostic trouble codes. You can use the actual scan tools to display even live data stream with inputs and outputs, with bi-directional controls which have the ability to make the controllers do things outside normal operations and may even be able to calibrate modules within certain parameters. However, a scan tool does not have the ability to reprogram modules fully because it requires a different software for this.

Modern cars come well-equipped with the sophisticated and diagnostic computers, and these days the mechanics and home repair enthusiasts get an advantage from owning an automotive scan tool. It is an electronic device which is used in links up to the onboard computer in cars and can be used to test the car’s systems specifically with the help of diagnostic scan tool (First make applied diagnostic functions was BMW in 1984), they gave the authorised dealers a BMW diagnostic tools called MODEC.

In the past years, cars needed occasional tuning up to keep them running smoothly, but nowadays the cars you use are self-regulatory. The engine keeps monitoring itself constantly and makes adjustment to the fuel injectors and ignition coil to ensure the efficient running of cars.  You can even understand the error running codes with an indicator lamp which lights up and the access to an automotive scanner is brought in.

There are a number of designs for the Scan Tools that range from handheld code reading devices to automatically functioning bi-directional, BMW diagnostic scan tools which are capable of programming and can be used by all and sundry!

Diagnostic Functions of scan tools

  • The diagnostic capability of an automotive Scan Tool allows it to read the trouble codes which is the purpose of basically all the basic handheld readers.

Bi-Directional Machines

  • An Automotive Scan Tool with bi-directional capabilities not only helps in receiving information like the trouble code readers can, but it is also able to co-ordinate the car.

Most Common Models are:

  • Standard Passthru SAE J-2534
  • G-SCAN
  • Autel Multi Scan MS300
  • Launch X431

Diagnostic can tools have various capabilities and ranges in a diversified matter. The scan tool typically sell for less than $200. They read and clear codes, display the status of the various monitors and display basic operating data such as the loop status, airflow, coolant temperature, oxygen outputs, positions like in throttle and other sensor readings, and trim values of fuel for diagnostic purposes. Most of these tools are versatile and work on domestic makes but often require additional software for Asian or European applications.

However, there are some special diagnostic scan tools to special jobs such programming the ECM and TCM modules, Configuring the car, updating some specific information, such tools you cannot find at this price.

BMW Diagnostic Tool

Usually these diagnostic tools used for reputed cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, … etc, If have a professional repair-shop, and looking for diagnostic tool, you will not be satisfied by above general tools,  if you work in BMW, you must look at a BMW diagnostic tool that can serve your needs from Ecu replacement to Ecu coding, key programming, …etc.

Check following link to understand more about special tools: BMW Diagnostic Tool

Airbags: A staple during journeys to ensure your safety

Airbag in vehicle
Airbag in vehicle

Airbags: A staple during journeys to ensure your safety

Safety during travelling is the most important aspect of a trip. Earlier, we used to depend on seat belts to hold us back and keep us safe if we, unfortunately, encounter an accident. Gradually, over the passage of years, technology has advanced and it has given birth to airbags which work more effectively towards maintaining the safety of the passengers. Airbags are inflatable and flexible bags which are made out of plastic which is known to inflate very swiftly and when it has a collision with something or gets a blow from another object it deflates instantly. The aim of preparing the airbags is merely to provide the passengers a certain amount of cushioning in case an accident happens.

The history of the advent of airbags is pretty interesting. They first received their patent on airplanes during the service of crash-landing at the time of World War 2. The first airbags that were meant for commercial use were issued in the 1980s. Since 1988, the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat of all cars were manufactured with airbags. Frontal car crashes can be quite fatal and research studies over the years have shown that as soon as the cars started using airbags, the rate of fatality due to frontal car crash was diminished by about 30%. After that, there appeared airbags that were mounted on the seats and doors. Nowadays, certain cars have crossed all boundaries and have even six to seven airbags.

Here we will describe the mechanism of these diagnostic tools that have saved quite a few lives:

  1. We all have studies Newton’s Laws of Motion in school, right? They say that objects those are in motion possess a feature called momentum which is actually the product of mass along with velocity. The laws also state that if any object remains in a static position, it will continue to remain so until and unless, it is acted upon by an external force. In the case of an accident, the car comes to a sudden halt or even a crash. In that case, the momentum of the car changes. The airbag hence stops incurring any damage to the passenger as well as the driver or even minimum damage.
  2. The airbag actually aims to make the speed of the passenger zero and render minimum damage to her. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The space that is present between the steering wheel or even the dashboard and the passenger does not allow the airbags much time to work upon. No matter how small the space is, it is very crucial in making the speed of the passenger zero so that he or she is not subjected to a sudden blow and injures themselves. Even if there is a fraction of a second, the airbags try to bring down the speed of the passenger to zero.
  3. The bag is built out a very thin and fabric made of nylon. The bag is actually kept folded on the steering wheel or even the dashboard. Nowadays, it is kept on the seat or even at the door.
  4. The bag is equipped with sensors that signal it to inflate itself. If the collision force is equal to ramming into a concrete wall at a speed of 10 to 15 miles an hour. There is a mechanical switch that gets flipped whenever there happens a shift in the mass which closes an electrical contact. This is the cue to the sensors that a crash has taken place. An accelerometer is built within a microchip which sends out the information to the sensors.
  5. The airbags have an inflation system within them which causes a reaction between sodium azide and potassium nitrate. Together, they result in the production of nitrogen gas. Large amounts of it cause the bag to inflate. Airbags were proposed to be built in cars but it received quite a few technical obstacles as well as prohibitive prices since airbags had compressed gas stored inside them.

Now you know the exact mechanism by which airbags work. They have saved many lives during accidents and situations of crisis and continue to do so in future.