These days, car owners can now easily buy cheaper OBD II and read the diagnostic data of their cars. Way back when cheap OBD II is not yet mainstream, auto mechanics need to buy expensive scanning tools. This is most especially for those imported European cars that require a scanning tool with a higher level of scanning ability.
It’s good to know that today even the basic OB scanners cannot just read and scan diagnostic problems, but also, it can read live data. Although reading the data alone will not reveal the real fixes needed, it gives every car owner a clearer view and points to the real problem of their vehicle.
This time, we’ll share with you how to read live data from OBD II. You don’t need to be a pro, though; you only need the basic knowledge about OBD II data reading, and you’re good to go.
What is Your First Step?
Before you can start diagnosing the problem, you need to have a code reader. Although understanding the live data from your scanning tool is quite simple, not everyone understands these codes.
Some scanners have defining tools and are more convenient to use. But if your scanning device has no such feature, you can find them online.
On the other hand, keep in mind that the OBD11 scanning tool must have a connection to any of your devices. You need to use an app or OBD using cords for those who require wirings. When these are already set-up, you can now easily read the data using your preferred device.
iOs and androids use different apps. You can check online to look at what’s compatible with your device. Once done, you can now plug into your car’s post or pair your device.
Just an important reminder, keep your car warmed up when using the scanning device.
Availability of Data
Cars with old models have a limited number of data to read on when scanning. This is because these models depend on the OBD protocol designed for vehicles during those eras.
However, for a modern vehicle, more data are made available since it now offers more parameters of information, which is highly convenient in the side of car owners as well as auto mechanics.
Consider the Fuel Trims
Fuel trim is an important functionality of a car. Read in percentage, and its task is to maintain the right proportion of air and fuel.
Fuel trim with a high percentage indicates that your car engine enriches the mixture to pay back the swayed condition of the motor. Such a scenario indicates issues like problems in the fuel system, injectors, or in the oxygen detector of your car. Leakage in the vacuum system of the vehicle is another possible reason.
On the other hand, a low percentage presents an attempt at the CPU to switch the fuel composition. The possible reason might be a leak in the fuel injector, or there is excessive pressure. Other than that, it can also be ruptured fuel that gives way to more pressure on the diaphragm, or there might be faults on the EVAP system of your vehicle.
When checking the fuel trim percentage, a 5% range should be ideal, while results with more than 10% and lower than -10% indicate problems that require fixing.
The Engine Temperature
A 190-degree Fahrenheit or above is the ideal temperature. Lower temperature denotes the activity of the control unit of the engine. You can consider a case like the control unit is enriching the fuel combination, thus increasing the set back speed. This is done so that cold motor will be compensated.
The temperature of Air Injection and Air Intake
When the engine is in cold condition, the temperature of air intake should be at 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
MAF or mass airflow measures grams in every second. Commonly, modernized vehicles have a hot wire feature that calculates the air volume. Most of the time, damaged wire or a wire full of dirt gives inaccurate data. This causes the ECU to shift in a swayed condition.
Firing timing or also called as ignition timing gives data as to the timing of the CPU when it comes to adding and subtracting depending on how much input gives to the sensor. A swayed command of the MAP sensor causes the CPU to either advance or adjust the timing.
Revolution Per Minute of the Engine
Indicating the engine speed, RPM is an important function of a vehicle. ECU should accurately read the RPM to start the firing coils and fuel injector’s pulse.
A vehicle with automatic transmission, RPM data is used by the ECU to control the torque converter operation.
Above are the basics in an understanding of reading live data from OBD II. Having basic knowledge in such things will keep you one step ahead as a car owner. After all, it’s not all the time that you’ll run to auto shops just to check even little issues of your car. It’s not just about saving a penny, and it’s also about knowing deeper the basic diagnostics of your vehicle. As a car owner, it is always a must.