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How to Use a Laptop As an Automotive Scan Tool

An increasing number of motorists in the repair kit include various devices for diagnosing their car. This allows you to save time and money on expensive repairs, and feel more confident driving during long journeys.

Modern ones are equipped with a lot of electronics.

  • Engine management system;
  • brake system control unit (ABS);
  • driver protection system control unit (airbags – SRS);
  • body control system (comfort unit, air conditioning, lighting control, etc.);
  • car protection system from unauthorized access (alarm, immobilizer);
  • communication unit.

Each of the blocks has a connection to the diagnostic connector. Using it, you can:

  • collect data on the malfunction of individual elements of the circuit;
  • perform operational control during the operation of devices (ignition timing, injection time, etc.);
  • reprogram individual blocks.

Based on the data presented above, it can be understood that you need to have inexperienced knowledge in the car and electronics in order to fix any breakdown on your own, so we do not recommend that you neglect the help of specialists at the car repairing service and, in case of a breakdown, go to car service in Dubai. Because the car repairing service center employs professionals in their field. Service center employees will carry out car scanning and diagnostics, which will help to fix problems in the shortest possible time.

A computer

Usually, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are used for self-diagnosis of cars (we shouldn’t forget that a modern phone is the same as a personal computer). In some professional and semi-professional diagnostic devices, the interface and computer are combined into a separate unit. Computer diagnostics of a car performs the following functions:

  • reading error codes of individual car devices;
  • erasing errors;
  • decoding error code;
  • operational control of vehicle systems in real time;
  • binding of some replaced nodes;
  • reprogramming (firmware) of car devices (professional diagnostic devices).

When choosing devices for self-diagnosis of cars, one should be guided by the following considerations:

  1. The make of the car you want to service
  2. Your level of competence.
  3. Solved tasks.

What you need to diagnose a car through a laptop

Important note! Don’t forget to have your car checked before going on a road trip.

After determining the choice and purchasing a device for diagnosing cars with your own hands, you need to install the software.

In order to fully own information about the car, you must have a circuit diagram. It can be found in the manual for the repair and operation of a particular vehicle.

There are also computer programs that contain such data. The most popular ones are AUTODATA, TOLERANCE, ELSA. It is also desirable to install them on a computer if you have certain knowledge in electrical engineering. But if your knowledge is not enough, don’t take risks and take the car to the service center.


Diagnostic procedure

  • Connecting a vehicle to a diagnostic tool

Next, connect the OBD cable to the diagnostic device. The device is connected via USB-connector to the laptop.

  • Software connection

We load the diagnostic program on the laptop. Then the error scan starts.

  • Reading errors

Errors fall into two categories: permanent and variable. Variables are those that don’t exist now, but once appeared, perhaps you changed the sensor without turning off the ignition or there was a power failure. After the errors are removed, the variable errors are removed, leaving only the permanent ones.

  • Troubleshooting

This is the most difficult stage. We repeat once again: don’t immediately change the device that the error showed.

If, for example, your rear right turn is faulty, then the diagnostics will give out a “malfunction of the right direction indicator”. This is so clear, and no erasing of errors will replace a blown fuse, a light bulb or a broken wire.

Check the fuses first. Then check the quality of the connectors to the specific device. The last step is to check the characteristics of the sensor itself. If, after all the procedures carried out, everything indicates a malfunction of this unit, proceed to replace it. After replacement, it is imperative to remove the errors again.

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