How To Use A Laptop Or Pc As An Obdii Scanner

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Using a laptop to scan OBDII engine codes is an easy task and might even be one of the better options. One of the great things about using a laptop when scanning OBDII codes is the ability to quickly search for answers online. As long as the laptop is online, an error code can be looked up and perused through the many online forums that provide an overview of what others have done to solve the problem.

How Do You Use a Laptop as an OBDII Scanner?
> USB-to-OBDII Cable
> OBDII Bluetooth Dongle
> Windows OBDII Software

The laptop must be connected to the OBDII port using a compatible cable or Bluetooth dongle. If the OBDII dongle is used, make sure the laptop or PC is Bluetooth enabled. A USB to OBD2 cable is the most common method and will interface from a laptop to a vehicle’s OBDII port. There are several USB to OBD2 cables that can be purchased and connected. Software is also included that displays error codes, clear error codes, and many other features.

As most know, OBDII scan tools will work on any 1996 and newer vehicle, and of course the same goes for the OBDLink SX. There are other options for PC-based OBD2 to USB solutions, but OBDLink is the most popular solution at the moment. It’s inexpensive, comes with everything you need to get started, and just works.

The best Windows OBDII software for a laptop or PC will vary based on what is being done. For more advanced usage, such as programming the onboard computer (ECU), other software will likely be better. The above list is the most popular OBDII Windows software that is currently available.

Can I use a laptop as an OBDII scanner? Yes, a laptop can be used as an OBD scanner and with the right software they work very well. This includes almost any laptop with a USB port and Windows 7, 10 or 11.

How to connect the OBDII connector to a laptop? An interface cable or Bluetooth dongle is purchased that converts the OBDII signals. The USB converter cable is connected to the laptop and the software is used to read the codes. The software interfaces with a vehicle computer (PCM/ECM) to read codes and clear them if necessary.

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