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

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