Maintenance, management of small repairs, reduction of fuel consumption are common pet peeves for car owners. With automotive diagnostic devices, drivers can learn more about their vehicle. Specialists give instructions for use.
It’s a magical little “entrance,” often placed under the steering wheel that changes the lives of many drivers. By exploiting the diagnostic power of each car, the so-called “OBD DIYers” for On-Board Diagnostics has established a whole new relationship with their vehicle.
Auto diagnostics to maintain your car yourself
OBD or onboard automotive diagnostics provides access to all kinds of information by searching the car’s electronic ECUs. How does it work? The electronic part of a vehicle consists of 15 to 20 boxes, computers. The latter talk to each other and with a giant central computer” explains Sébastien Rousselet, founder of OBD Auto.
By connecting the vehicle’s diagnostic plug to an OBD box, a driver can collect information from the computers and send it to a computer (via a USB cable plugged into the box) or to a smartphone (wifi or Bluetooth, via a downloadable app).
Practical when you want to take care of “small” maintenance operations. To equip yourself, you need between 20 and 50€ depending on the supplier.
The ECU that is the most frequently queried is the engine ECU. With this product, you access what is called the default code,” explains Cyrille Richard of OBD Easy. The software gives a technical description of the problem and then updates the dashboard display.”
How do they work?
The diagnostic device plugs into the car’s OBD connector, which is usually located under the steering wheel near the fuse box.
The location of the connector may vary depending on the model of car, do not hesitate to look in the technical manual. The tool processes information from the on-board electronic system and tells you where the fault is coming from.