Once a warning light in the dashboard of the vehicle starts to flash or light up, most drivers are at a loss and have to go to their workshop. There, the car is connected to the tester and the customers a more or less expensive repair proposed to fix the error. With an adapter for the in-vehicle interface called OBD2 (OBD stands for on-board diagnostic version 2) and your own smartphone, today virtually everyone can read out the error codes themselves and find out more information about their own vehicle with the help of appropriate diagnostic tools.
What is OBD2 actually and how does it work?
As already mentioned, the three letters OBD represent an on-board diagnosis or self-diagnosis using standardized error codes. Such an error code is stored in the memory of an in-vehicle controller when an error occurs in any system. With today's variety of electronic components in the car, such errors can occur very quickly, for example, when systems such as electronic fuel injection or anti-lock brakes no longer function properly. Using a connector in the vehicle, various diagnostic computers are connected to the OBD2 interface. Software can then be used to read the error codes and display their meaning in plain text. If, for example, an error indicator lamp lights up in the dashboard, such a test is announced. Here, the so-called fault memory is read out and the mechanic knows immediately what is defective.
we have already tested some devices
The self-diagnosis in the truest sense of the word
With the help of appropriate OBD2 modules from specialist retailers, every smartphone user now has the opportunity to read out this error memory and immediately knows what is broken. For example, hobby mechanics like to use the opportunity to save themselves the way to the workshop and to localize and replace defective parts themselves. There are OBD2 plugs already starting from 20 Euro, which work relatively reliably and can be used for such diagnostic cases. The connection to the smartphone is almost always via Bluetooth or as in the case of ANCEL VD500 OBD2 Scanner comes a device with permanently installed OBD2 connector. In the case of the variant with smartphone, a corresponding app is installed which, among other things, can read out and display the error codes via the module connected to the OBD2 interface.
Most of these adapters can do more
However, the adapters are not only used for fault diagnosis. With the aid of apps on the smartphone, many data from the on-board electronics can be displayed in real time directly on the screen of the smartphone or tablet, such as vehicle-specific parameters, the engine speed, the outputs of the various sensors such as temperature sensors in the vehicle and many other values. The mobile phone can even be used as a speedometer for your own vehicle. However, the variety of functions depending on the adapter is very different. Personal settings via, for example, changes in the comfort lighting (see video) and much more can also be configured with an OBD2 link.
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