How to Use OBD11 Scan Tool

How to Use OBD11 Scan Tool

In today’s generation, cars are now becoming both four-wheeled moving computers and vehicles used for transportation. Thanks to all innovations, every car owner can now monitor the overall state of their autos through using this small but useful gadget. 

This post talks about how to use the OBD11 scan tool. Either you’re still a novice or an expert, knowing the proper usage will always make a difference. 

What is an OBD11 Scan Tool?

Image source

On-Board Diagnostics II or OBD11 is a standardized monitoring system for trucks and cars. Its main function is for self-diagnostic, giving you updates about your car’s main components and functionalities. 

The scanner tool of this monitoring system gives technicians and drivers data about the engine’s RPM, air temperature, coolant, throttle, road speed, and crankshaft, and camshaft position. 

What are the Two Types of OBD11 Scanner?

Image source

1.    Code readers 

Much less expensive scanning gadget, Code readers can read and clear codes, but it has many limitations. It cannot present some information like specific manufacturer codes. Aside from that, this code reader cannot access some types of data. 

2.    Scan tools

scan tools offer a lot of features like providing access to data both live and recorded, advanced troubleshooting methods, and it can read certain manufacturer’s codes. 

How to Use OBD11 Scan Tools?

Image source

Using this device is very easy and convenient. Although different scan tools have different features, the basic steps on how to use are almost the same. Here’s a step by step guide on how to use the OBD11 scan tool. 

Step 1 – Plug the scanner into the port 

Your first step is to plug it into the port, which is commonly found under the dash where your knees are usually placed. But, before doing so, turn off your vehicle first. 

On the other hand, keep in mind that the OBD11 scan tool is a standardized system; thus, it only uses one connector type called SAE J1962. 

After plugging, you will see the scan tool start to function, indicating a successful connection. Some scanners include modules and keys used in amplifying universal connectors. This enables the device to connect and interact or access specific data and controls of OEM. 

Step 2 – Wait for the scan tool to boot up 

Turn your car back on and wait until the OBD11 scanner tool to boot up. Press the power button if it does not initialize automatically. 

Step 3 – Input all the required data once the OBD11 scan tool is ready. These data include the model, engine, type of car, as well as the Vehicle Information Number (VIN), etc. 

Step 4- Allow your scanning tool to read the diagnostic system of your vehicle. You may check the scanner’s manual then, check the button initiating this process. 

Step 5 – Once the scanning process is done, single or several trouble codes are given. You may write these codes or transfer them in another other most used devices like mobile phone or laptop through Bluetooth connectivity. 

Step 6 – Check the meaning of these codes. As most manuals do provide basic codes, you can check the meaning of the manuals, and if you can’t find any, you may refer to the internet. There are many available supplemental codes for vehicles found online. 

Step 7 – After recording the codes, you may now switch off your car and remove the OBD11 scan tool carefully. 

Do’s and Don’ts with your OBD11 Scan Tool 

Image source

Many OBD11 scanning devices come in good quality and are durable. However, precaution is still a must to avoid possible damage and malfunction. Here’s a simple guide for you to take care of your scan tool. 

  • Although the steps provided above is a comprehensive guide, it is still best to read the manual carefully. 
  • Since the plug is kind of delicate, always be careful when connecting the connector to the OBD11 system because careless plugging might bend the pin. 
  • Do not forget to switch on your car when doing the scanning process so that you can avoid the possibility of OBD11 system corruption. 


You may not be highly knowledgeable about troubleshooting certain issues on your car, but having an OBD11 scanner with you is one step closer ahead than those who haven’t. After all, bringing your car to auto shops takes both time and bucks. Therefore, having a scan tool with you is a big help since it helps you solve problems and issues you can solve with yourself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *