Car Diagnostic Tools

Car diagnostic tools range from low gear that you might already have in your toolbox to the high-end expensive equipment used by professional automotive technicians. Although cars have been tending more and more towards computer controls and diagnostic equipment in recent years, it is still important to start with the basics. Therefore, there are some decidedly low tech tools that every DIYer and backyard mechanic should have in his toolbox.
Some of the most basic car diagnostic tools are:
1. Test light
2. Jumper wire
3. Handheld vacuum pump
4. Pressure gauge
5. Mechanic’s stethoscope
If you are working on an older car, this sort of equipment is basically all you will need to perform your own diagnostics. However, this type of gear can also be essential in diagnosing newer cars. The only difference is the starting point, because vehicles that have computer controls will provide you with “trouble code” to get you started.
Scan tools and code readers
These two main categories of high-tech car diagnostic tools are code readers and scan tools. The most basic computer diagnostic tools are simple code readers, which mean they can pull codes from your car’s computer. You can then check the code, which provides you with a starting point for your diagnostic process.
Scan tools are code readers that have some additional functions. Basic scan tools allow you to read and clear codes, but you can also observe all of the available data from the car’s computer. Depending on the tool, you may be able to scroll through all of the available information or set up your own list of parameter IDs that you are interested in.
Except for reading codes and displaying IDs, scan tools can also provide a little more information about the codes. Depending on the specific scan tool, it may simply display some basic information about what each code means, or it might provide some level of information about how to proceed with your diagnostic. The most expensive scan tools can provide extensive knowledge bases that can speed up a diagnostic procedure considerably.
Whether working on cars is a hobby or a cost-driven necessity, most DIYers and backyard mechanics are better off with inexpensive alternatives to expensive professional tools. 

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