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OBD stands for “on board diagnostics.” It’s an interface to the computer that manages the engine and innumerable subsystems in contemporary automobiles.
Aside from fiddling the ignition timing and reminding you to change your oil, the computer module in your vehicle is responsible for running a suite of diagnostic procedures.
The Tek Link software will also allow you to create printed or e-mailable reports about problems found by the reader, and it will download and install firmware upgrades for the reader.
The complex and somewhat obscure nature of automotive on-board diagnostics arguably makes owning an OBD2 code reader all but essential – you can blow away a lot of time and cash taking your car to be serviced for trivial or non-existent problems without one.
Its automated system quickly diagnoses engine light warnings in both domestic and foreign vehicles, while its patented all-in-one design supports monitoring of emissions readiness, drive cycle verification, and erasure of ABS trouble codes of most Toyota, Chrysler, Ford, and GM motor vehicles.
You also get a large backup memory that stores data and an auto refresh feature (every 30 seconds) that enables you to monitor car repair progress in real time.
The Innova 3100 code reader can also be used to erase an error code, if one has appeared for a reason which has subsequently been corrected – to wit, the gas cap was tightened.
My BMW Z3’s most recent illumination of its service engine light, for example, was prompted by a P0441 code, which means “evaporative emission control system incorrect purge flow.” This is a very complex, technical description for the gas cap being loose.
The Innova 3100 code reader is a comfortable balance between a sophisticated instrument capable of fully implementing the complete OBD2 standard, and a box you can understand and use without a three-day seminar.
Please note: Support issues can't be addressed here.
Plug it into your OBD2 port, power the engine and within ten to sixty seconds, it will display one or more numeric codes that indicate the problems which have illuminated your dashboard unduly.
Its manual includes a complete list of its codes and their meanings.