10 Things You Need to Know When Buying Multi Brand Car Diagnostic Tools

Modern vehicles require advanced diagnostics due to the sophisticated electronic systems they possess. Regular diagnostic tests help detect problems with your car well in advance before they require expensive repairs. On-board diagnostics or OBD have now taken the scene where the latest automotive technology is used to diagnose issues. Whether your car engine is running low on oil or the ignition coil is not working, diagnostic tools can check and identify even small issues that otherwise cannot be identified.

If you are all set to buy multi-brand car diagnostic tools, you need to know specific things to get the best out of your money. Here is what you need to keep in mind.

What you should know before buying Multi-brand car diagnostic tools


1. Understand the purpose

With a wide variety of diagnostic tools available in the market, you should be aware of your needs and purpose in buying the tool. Basic scan tools come with limited functionality and will not perform advanced tests. So, you should look for a tool that provides specific functions as per your needs.

For example, if you just need to check a ‘check engine light,’ you need not invest in a high-budget scanner. Whenever you go to buy any tool, check the manual for its function list and whether you really need them. Find more about diagnostic tools at

2. Plan Your Budget

Planning your budget is a must when you go to buy diagnostic tools. For most scanners with subscription fees, the facilities you get are in proportion to your payment. This is not always necessary as sometimes you can get a fair set of tools at an affordable price also. If you need to do a full system scan for your car, you can go ahead with manufacturer-specific tools that are more costly.

3. Know the Tool Specifications


Most people use car diagnostic tools to check problems with their cars related to engine, brakes, transmission, exhaust system, and other major components. You can also check performance issues with your vehicle related to airflow, fuel injector, coolant, throttle, and ignition coils. Be sure about what parts the tool has the capability to check.

Car diagnostic tests use code-reading tools to determine the problem, but they will not tell the cause of the problem. So read through the manual carefully to ensure you do not use the tool for something outside its range.

4. Diagnostic Tools do not FIX issues

This is an important thing to note because most people have the misconception that diagnostic tools can magically make car issues disappear. This is not the case. You can diagnose issues with these tools, but they will not fix them. The mechanic or the service engineer has to do the fixing part.

5. Compatible across multiple Vehicles

Car diagnostic tools and code scanners are compatible across many vehicles. You will find many OBD or On-Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) systems where you can buy one scanner and use it on multiple vehicles. This means every time you purchase a new car. You don’t need to buy a new scanner.

6. Easy to Use

Just because you are buying an advanced car diagnostic tool does not mean you should be really tech-savvy to use it. Modern scanning tools are super easy to use. You just need to plug in the device to your car’s OBD-II interface, enter your VIN, and then follow the screen guidelines. Your tool will do the rest and let you know about the potential issues.

7. You get portability

The best thing about multi-brand car diagnostic tools is that they come in portable packages so that you can carry them with you in your car. Now you need not worry about your ‘check engine lights’ being on while traveling. You can simply use the diagnostic scanner on the go and then track down a repair shop to fix the issue.

8. Save Your Money

We all know diagnostics cause a lot of heavy bills. If you go to your mechanic every time your ‘check engine light lights up, you will probably pile up a lot of bills! If you have a personal OBD scanner, you simply have to plug it in and follow the directions as specified to locate the source of error. This will save you a lot of money over the long run. The price of each car diagnostic tool is not the same, but you will always find a diagnostic tool as per your required price and purpose.

9. Handle it with Care


Scanner and diagnostics tools are generally sturdy and durable, but you still need to use them with caution and care. If you do not take care of it properly or ignore the instructions, it may malfunction and not diagnose your car issues correctly. You need to be careful and gentle while connecting the universal connector to your device. An OBD2 tool’s 16-pin plug is very delicate. If you try to force the plugin, you could damage the pins, and they will get bent.

10. Choose the best

You will find the automobile market flooded with brands that sell diagnostic tools. When you plan to make a purchase, be careful about what you need, the functions the tool supports, and its ability to read car codes. Compare the specs and price of various tool options before finalizing a tool. Then, find a tool that is easy to carry, simple to set up, and gives you value for money.

Summing Up

The right car diagnostic tool can prove to be beneficial for you and save you a lot of money over the long run. OBD scanners can be great for doing car maintenance at home and assessing the overall health of your vehicle. Do proper research from the available options in the market and consider their features and benefits before making a decision. Consider your options carefully, compare prices and then make a decision that suits your vehicular requirements.

About Nina Smith