A CAN scanner (controller area network) is by far the most advanced step in the computerized world of automotive diagnostics. Because car's have several onboard computers which "talk" to each other and share data such as the PCM (powertrain control module), SRS (safety restraint system), ABS (anti-lock brake system) Traction control, HVAC, Proximity warning, Self driving controls to name a few, malfunctions can now be easily detected across the entire system network using the CAN. Though there are many levels of CAN scanner tools available you can get an inexpensive unit from Amazon for about $35.00.
Much like an simple drivetrain (engine) scan the CAN scanner plugs into the same
OBD2 port which is located under the dash on the drivers side in most cases.
The screen will prompt you choose the manufacturer of the vehicle, then the VIN
identification feature will "pop up" which follows this step.
The VIN number id will tell the scanner exactly which car you have including
the engine and transmission type, trim level and other options your car may have.
Once you have selected to start the scan it will begin showing each system status
once the scan of a particular system is complete, the status of said system will
appear while detecting communication errors.
If a problem is detected it will allow you to select the system which will then
display the error code. Once the repair is complete you can simple choose the clear
codes prompt and you are done, it's that easy.
Please watch this video of the job being done, then continue down the guide to glean additional helpful information.
Each scanner model will have its own set of options and tasks it performs so its a good idea to examine a scanner capabilities before purchasing.
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