Vehicles have come a long way since the invention of the combustion engine. Mechanics need constant training due to new car technologies and different ways to find and fix a fault. It is a confusing industry to be amongst.
Owners are nervous when the check engine light or warning message pops up on their dashboard. Is it a simple fix or an expensive repair? It is often a worry for vehicle owners as they might not know the exact issue, but warning lights indicate something needs to be fixed. If the vehicle is due for inspection soon, this concern is even greater. As the vehicle may not pass routine checks if the warning light is still illuminated.
A wave of new technologies now exists to improve the lives of vehicle owners, fleet managers and especially repair technicians. Identifying a fault can be as easy as plugging in a Car Scanner.
What is a Typical Car Scanner?
A car scanner is a device that scans your onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. They typically connect to a designated port inside the cabin of the vehicle and communicate with the vehicle's electronic modules.
These modules link to various sensors and a multitude of vehicle monitoring, producing a lot of data. This data includes voltages, temperatures, speeds, pressures and fluid levels. If any of these are out of the set parameters given by the vehicle manufacturer then a warning light on the dashboard will illuminate.
What does a Car Scanner Do?
Using a Car Scanner, vehicle electrical systems are analysed. Displaying what the problem could be with your vehicle. Displaying a specific code such as ‘P0303’, which can be looked up online to return a host of articles to identify and fix the issue.
Advanced Car Scanners can look up these codes using internal databases. Which in turn pair it with your vehicle information. These scanners can take it one step further and identify the location of the fault on the vehicle and offer repair guides or tips to test and fix the fault. Making them ideal for technicians or home mechanics.
How Can Car Scanners Help?
Car Scanners can perform anything from fault-finding to unlocking and customising vehicle features. Nowadays, each vehicle sensor is linked to the vehicle's electrical architecture and control modules. A Car Scanner dives deep into these systems and identifies root causes.
More advanced vehicles have sensors in items like washer fluid bottles, ADAS modules and electric vehicle drivetrains with batteries. All of these systems can be scanned and detected for any faults. It ultimately depends on how many features your vehicle has.
Advanced scanners are used by repair shops to customise car features too. Delay timers for lights, beeping when locking a vehicle, or unlocking features hidden within the vehicle architecture are some features that scanners customize.
Going even further, car scanners can display live vehicle data to a user's smart device. This data is transmitted wirelessly via Bluetooth and displays hidden vehicle data not usually viewable on the dash. Ideal if this data is useful for fleet managers for analysis in real-time.
How It Benefits Users
Car Scanners have a range of benefits. For a low price, vehicle faults can be detected easily at a user's home or business, without the need for a technician. This can save users time and money.
They add features that would otherwise not be available from the factory display system. Custom vehicle information can be displayed using a smartphone or tablet for the driver to see key vehicle data in real-time. Which is useful for anything from vehicle health monitoring to preventative maintenance. Also, fuel usage data is used to track the overall running costs of a fleet.
How Fleet Managers Use Car Scanners
When a warning light displays on a dashboard, fleet manager personnel can plug in a car scanner and identify the problem almost immediately. Advanced scanners help fleet managers by showing repair cost estimates, live vehicle tracking and upcoming service schedules in real-time too.
Data from the car scans can be analysed to book vehicles in for preventative maintenance. Saving costs and reducing downtime of their fleet. Also, Car Scanners help businesses budget for repair and servicing bills for the year. With vehicles having a high maintenance cost, it is important that businesses budget well.
Challenges with Car Scanners
Basic Car Scan tools only offer diagnostic codes. Which have to be researched online for a particular make and model. Taking extra time out of the vehicle’s repair schedule. Even using experienced mechanics, this research could be incorrect and not fully solve the issue.
Car Scan tools require a physical tool which can be expensive depending on which one you go for. Vehicles may be some distance from the nearest repair centre, meaning it could risk damaging the vehicle further if it needs to be driven further for repair.
The scan tool needs to be physically connected to the vehicle and someone may need to drive out to the location of the vehicle. This takes extra resources and additional costs for a business managing a fleet.
Sometimes it can be intrusive to leave a scan tool connected to the OBD port. It could be a safety risk if devices such as smartphones and tablets are needed to display additional vehicle information to their users. With cables everywhere and in some cases blocking important vehicle information on dashboards.
How High Mobility is the Solution
At High Mobility, we remove the need for a scan tool altogether. Using our unique partnership with vehicle brands, we bridge the gap between the vehicle OBD data and fleet management companies. Our advanced API makes it easy to build custom applications for fleet managers. With a plethora of SDKs, we are compatible with a wide range of programming languages that your business might need.
We take live vehicle data to the next level. Data such as location, journey history, locking status, fuel level, driving behaviour and vehicle health can all be accessed remotely. Using a web or app-based solution, fleet managers are building custom software. Allowing them to receive live vehicle data sent via onboard GPS and telematics modules within modern vehicles.
Best of all, all of our client's data is encrypted and transmitted to our central servers via the cloud. We have strict conformance to GDPR and ISO27001 standards to ensure correct data handling. High Mobility’s partnership with TISAX, which work directly with the German Automotive Industry for data security, ensures we leave nothing to chance.