how to read live data from obd ii



Most of the DIY car fixes are easily achievable when using the OBD II scanning tool, and in this article, we shall help you understand how to read live data from the OBD II diagnostic scanner. Whether you have a wired or a wireless code reader, it does not matter, or if you love using Wi-Fi over Bluetooth will depend on the device you prefer using. Understanding how to read live data from OBD II is an incredible way of diagnosing drivability issues in your vehicle. Before the OBD II, scanning tool became affordable; you would require expensive tools to assess default in your car.

How to read OBD2 freeze frame data
The reading freeze frame will highly depend on the type of OBB2 scanner you are using. OBD2 freeze frame data seems to be a meaningless set of numbers, symbols, and acronyms unless you are an expert mechanic. This will be a bit tricky if you know nothing about cars. However, OBD2 freeze frame data is critical data when it comes to running your vehicle's diagnosis.
The freeze-frame helps to display parameter ID values, also known as PID, whenever there is triggered diagnostic trouble code. The light present in the check engine will illuminate when the fault code is present. However, OBD2 freeze frame data will show what other components or sensors are operating whenever a fault code is recorded by an electronic control unit (ECU). These data are essential when it comes to identifying the causes of faults that are related to the emission system.

How is the freeze frame data stored in the OBD2 system?
It is essential to know how the two types of system monitors operate before understanding the OBD2 tool stores freeze frame data in its system.
Continuous monitors. This shows that the monitor is continuously running or operating when your vehicle is running. This consists of the fuel trim as well as the misfire detectors. Furthermore, a continuous monitor is also referred to as one trip emission diagnostic monitor. It enables PCM or the powertrain control module to store a diagnostic trouble code immediately along with all necessary freeze frame data.
Non-continuous monitors or two-trip monitors. These monitors include the oxygen sensor, EGR system, heaters, catalytic converter, and evaporative emissions that will always perform diagnosis once every trip. However. In the case of two-trip monitors, the powertrain control module will store diagnostic trouble code temporarily till the following trip. When there is no failure during the second trip, the trouble code that was temporarily stored will be cleared from the electronic control unit.
However, when a failure occurs once again on the second trip, the electronic control unit will then store a diagnostic trouble code together with the essential free-frame data. You should keep in mind that freeze frame data will not be updated or refreshed after following failures on a similar test cycle. Freeze frame data will be overwritten when the system detects any irregularities or misfire with fuel trim.

What is the meaning of OBD?
OBD is an abbreviation for on-board diagnostics. OBD is a term used in automotive to refer to a vehicle’s computerized self-diagnostic as well as reporting ability. With this system, your car will give access to a technician to evaluate the status of your car sub-system. The amount of diagnostic data that is available in OBD has widely varied since it was first introduced in the early 1980s.

What type of OBD is my car?
The type of OBD integrated into your vehicle usually depends on your car’s date of manufacture. Therefore, if you own a car in the United States that has been produced within the last 20 plus years, it features the OBD2, whereas if it was manufactured earlier, it has OBD1. Additionally, OBD2 standard is an improvement to the traditional OBD1 standard, so performs better at diagnosing the engine of the car as well as displaying error codes, and other details like system performance plus transmission. Therefore, an OBD system enables you to diagnose the engine of your vehicle and confirm everything is working as expected.

What type of OBD is best for my car?
There are various types of OBD2 available in the market, and choosing the one that best suits your needs can be a bit tricky. Due to that, I have assembled some of the best OBD2 scanners available in the market;
1. BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBD II
BAFX is a famous brand known for releasing an array of highly reliable products. The BAFX OBD II Bluetooth scanner is an excellent investment for an individual with Windows and Android platforms. You should note that individuals using the iOS platform will not be able to have the advantages of using BAFX products. With this scanner, you are guaranteed compatibility with all 1996 and beyond vehicles across the United States. Additionally, this OBD II features a durable design, and its in-depth diagnostic is achieved when the real-time information is provided.
Key features
The BAFX OBD II features an incredible compatibility design, which makes it perfect for use across all USA vehicles.
Its extreme durability is another feature that will help you use this tool for an extended period of time.
This OBD II scanner comes with two years manufacturer warranty.
Pros

  • Compatible with Android and Windows platforms
  • Highly affordable
  • Durable
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Not compatible with cars built before 1996.

2. Autel Autolink AL319 OBD II scanner
If you are looking for a reputable manufacturer, then Autel will be perfect for you; this company is well known for producing high quality, affordable, and effective OBD II scanners. This OBD scanner features a plug and plays setup, which makes it perfect for a novice to operate it without having problems. Furthermore, the Autel n OBD II scanner is multilingually equipped with languages such as German, French, Spanish, and English. There is a TFT color screen that helps to display error codes. You can as well update and upgrade it via internet connection. With this OBD II scanner, you can view freeze frame data and switch off the manufacturer indicator lights. Furthermore, you can clear all trouble codes available and reset the monitor.
Key features
One of my favorite features available in the Autel OBD II scanner is Plug and Play. This feature is perfect for individuals who have fewer skills in operating OBD2 scanners.
Multilingual is another feature that makes the Autel OBD II scanner an essential investment.
Displays data easily via the TFT color screen.
Pros

  • Easy to operate design
  • Easy to interpret and understand data via the TFT color screen
  • Multilingual
  • Pocket-friendly and highly effective.

Cons

  • Updating and installing the software in the Autel OBD II scanner takes plenty of time.

3. Kobra Wireless OBD II car code reader
Kobra has been designing a competitive OBD II scanner for a long time. Furthermore, the company has received plenty of positive feedbacks from its customers. This OBD II scanner is compatible with cars manufactured from 1996 and beyond. The Kobra OBD II scanner uses 3,000 code definition databases, which are essential when it comes to an understanding of the meaning behind every database. With this OBD II scanner, you will be able to figure out the severity and nature of any problem arising in your car.
Once you have the critical information on what the main problem is, solving it will be a non-issue. Unlike most OBD II scanners, the Kobra wireless OBD II scanner is compatible with Apple, Windows, and Android platform devices. Nevertheless, you will have to use a Wi-Fi signal to make connections.
Key features
The most adorable feature available in the Kobra OBD II scanner is its compatibility with Android, Apple, and Windows platform, making it one of the best OBD scanners to invest in.
Compatibility is another key feature that makes this OBD2 scanner stand from the rest.
3,000 code definition database
Pros

  • Compatible with various platforms including Apple, Android, and Windows
  • Highly durable.
  • Easy to operate
  • With the Kobra OBD II scanner, you are guaranteed one-year money back.

Cons

  • Kobra OBD2 scanner takes a long to scan.

What is the live data on a scan tool?
Live data allows you to visualize your vehicle switch, sensor, as well as relay inputs in real-time as your car engine is running. These live data information will help you identify the problem within your car for a faster diagnosis. On the other hand, auto-scanner is capable of displaying generic along with manufacturer-specific DTCs as well as definitions, freeze frame, permanent DTCS, State OBD check, six modes of OBD II data and drive cycle mode among others.

What data is available from OBD?
OBD II provides a standard method of accessing various types of data such as;
The number of ignition cycles
Oxygen sensor test result
The Check Engine light status
The number of miles covered with the MIL on
Freeze frame data. This is a snapshot of parameters whenever a trouble event occurs
The vehicle identification number is commonly known as VIN
Emission readiness status
Offers a real-time setting, which includes pedal position, speed, airflow rate, RPM, coolant, spark advance, and temperature, among other essential features.
Diagnostic trouble code often referred to as DTCs


Final verdict
There are various vital features you will need to consider when it comes to choosing the right OBD II for your car. When purchasing an OBD II scanner, ensure that it is compatible with various platforms such as Android, Apple, and Windows.
Furthermore, the compatibility between your car and the OBD II scanner is essential for you to have a better performance. On the other hand, durability is critical when it comes to choosing a great OBD II scanner. As we come to a conclusion we hope that this article will help you select the best OBD-II scanner for your car. In case of any questions or clarification, please feel free to ask.


About the Author Chris Wilson

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