Last updated on November 21st, 2023
Scangauge vs. Ultragauge
Scangauge and Ultragauge are two leading brands in the industry of OBD2 diagnostic scanners, providing advanced technology for vehicle diagnostics.
- Scangauge OBD2 scanners are known for their robust features and compact design
- Ultragauge scanners are celebrated for their user-friendly interface, comprehensive data monitoring
- Both are OBD 2 mini-computers that can help you understand your vehicle’s performance
The debate of Scangauge vs. Ultragauge pivots on multiple factors including functionality, ease of use, and value for money. Both brands are committed to helping vehicle owners maintain optimal performance and efficiency, making the choice between Scangauge vs. Ultragauge OBD2 diagnostic scanners a matter of personal preference and specific needs.
The fuel performance of vehicles is something most of us want to keep an eye on. Why is it important? To maintain fuel economy, have an idea of mileage, and of course, be a responsible citizen. You know, less fuel consumption equals less pollution.
For fuel or engine enthusiasts, the automotive industry came up with on-board diagnostics (OBD) tools. These tools help you to figure out everything about your engine.
There are two generations of these tools, the first one called OBD could be installed in vehicles manufactured before 1996 and the other one called OBD2 supported by all vehicles after 1996.
Scangauge and Ultragauge both are OBD2 mini-computers that can help you understand your vehicle’s performance better.
Here’s a detailed comparison of both products based on various product features.
What does a car scanner tell you?
A car scanner, also known as an OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) scanner, is a device that interfaces with a vehicle’s computer system to diagnose and report issues. Essentially, it provides a comprehensive overview of your vehicle’s health. It can alert you to problems with the engine, exhaust system, transmission, and other components.
It can also provide information on the vehicle’s fuel economy and performance. Therefore, “What does a car scanner tell you?” – it produces critical data that helps in early detection of potential issues, ensuring timely intervention and maintenance. A car scanner is an invaluable tool in modern vehicle diagnosis and maintenance.
What information does OBD2 provide?
On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD2) is a standardized system in trucks and cars that monitors the performance and health of the vehicle. So, what information does OBD2 provide? It provides crucial information about the vehicle’s engine performance, including ignition timing, fuel injection calibrations, and engine speed.
It identifies any issues in these areas, providing error codes that can be deciphered by a mechanic. Additionally, OBD2 monitors emissions to ensure a vehicle is not releasing harmful pollutants. In essence, OBD2 provides valuable data about a vehicle’s overall health, assisting in its maintenance and contributing to environmental conservation.
Do car scanners work on all cars?
Car scanners, also known as OBD2 (on-board diagnostics) scanners, are designed to work on most vehicles manufactured from 1996 onwards. These devices can diagnose a wide range of issues, providing a comprehensive view of the car’s health. However, their effectiveness may vary across different car models and makes due to variations in protocols and systems.
While they work on all cars equipped with an OBD2 system, they may not function with older models that use OBD1. Therefore, while it is true to say that car scanners work on most modern cars, it’s important to note that exceptions do exist.
Product Features for Scangauge
Since this text will be comparative, we will lay out the same product features for both products to better understand the differences.
Scangauge has an LED display with five buttons for navigation. There’s a home button to see the home screen, and the rest of the four buttons are function buttons.
The four function buttons include:
- Scan- Located at the top left corner, the scan tool displays the trouble codes, and turns off the check engine light.
- Trip- Below the scan button, there’s a trip button that displays useful information about a trip you have selected.
- Gauge- On the top right corner, you can see a gauge button that displays four gauges at any given time.
- More- You can use the more button to access settings and configurations.
Number of Gauges
Scangauge has a total of 17 gauges to show the engine and fuel performance. You can view four gauges at a time giving you real-time data of your vehicle.
While the primary gauges stay the same across all vehicles, there may be some gauges with more than one abbreviation across different vehicles depending on the vehicle type.
The most common gauges for the performance management of your vehicle include:
- Cost per Mile (CPM)- Cost per mile of a vehicle at any given time.
- Miles per Gallon (MPH)- MPG shows the number of miles the vehicle runs in a gallon of fuel.
You can change the unit of distance to Kilometer, and the unit of capacity to litres. The gauge indicators change to Kilometers per liter (KPG), Miles per liter (MPL), etc. as per the preference.
- Meter per Hour (MPH)- MPH is the gauge for displaying speed. You can adjust the indicator to Kilometer per Hour (KPH) if you want to see the speed in another unit.
- Trouble Codes
As mentioned earlier, the Scan button shows trouble codes. The ‘check engine’ indicator turns on if there is a problem with the engine. There can be hundreds of trouble codes, and it is a challenge to determine what the error code means.
The trouble code has two parts. One is the error code ID that shows the part which has a problem. The other part is the failure mode (FM) ID which indicates the nature of the problem.
If you see a trouble code, enter the information with your vehicle’s specifications into a search engine to better understand the problem.
The Scangauge has three parts. A display screen, A connector cord, and velcro straps for mounting the monitor.
The installation is just a two-step process where you plug in the connector and mount the screen with the velcro straps that start working when the engine starts.
This video has been included for its clarification of the topic matter. Credit goes to NJS Instructional
Product Features for Ultragauge
While both Scangauge and Ultragauge serve the same purpose, there are differences in the product features. Let’s see what Ultragauge has to offer on-screen display parameters, number of gauges, trouble codes, and installation.
Ultragauge uses an LCD as compared to Scangauge which uses an LED display. The screen can be programmed to display 4, 6, or 8 gauges simultaneously, given a big display screen size.
The screen uses light from its LED backlighting. It makes the text readable on the screen at darker times of the day.
The gauges are organized into pages where they show a specific category of gauges such as gauges related to speed on a single page.
Number of Gauges
The ultra gauge has 78 gauge options. The gauges range from speed, and fuel economy to sophisticated gauges related to temperature and pressure. While most of the gauges operate across every type of vehicle, some may not be compatible with all sorts of vehicles.
Some of the gauges that are exceptional other than the usual gauges include:
- Instantaneous MPG- Instantaneous MPG measures the fuel economy of the vehicle at any specific time.
- Miles Traveled Since Check Engine Light Cleared- The gauge tells that after a trouble code’s clearance, how many miles has the vehicle covered? It can tell a driver how well the engine is running after a repair fault.
- Run Time Since Last Start- This gauge shows the time for which a vehicle has been turned on after the last ignition.
- Evaporative Purge %- The gauge gives the percentage of fuel vapors burnt inside the engine.
The Ultragauge not only displays the current trouble codes, but it also identifies the potential troubles that you can face. Not only that, there is an option of seeing pending trouble codes that got ignored once you turned the ‘check engine’ light off.
These trouble codes are thoroughly defined in the user manual of the Ultragauge scan tool.
The installation of Ultragauge is almost the same as the Scangauge. You just need to plug in the cable and mount the display screen in a place on the windscreen that doesn’t interfere with your vision.
However, the newer models of Ultragauge require you to connect them to your phone for a better display.
This video has been included for its clarification of the topic matter. Credit goes to Aiden Owen
How do I use an auto scanner?
- First, locate the diagnostic link connector (DLC) in your vehicle. It’s typically found under the driver’s side dashboard.
- Once found, plug the auto scanner into the DLC. The scanner should power on once connected.
- Turn your vehicle’s ignition to the “on” position, but do not start the engine. This powers up the vehicle’s electronic control module (ECM), allowing communication with the scanner.
- On your auto scanner, select the option to read or scan trouble codes. The scanner will then retrieve and display any fault codes stored in the ECM.
- Finally, refer to your vehicle’s service manual or an online resource to understand what these codes mean. This provides insights into potential issues with your vehicle. So, this is how you use an auto scanner effectively to diagnose your vehicle’s problems.
Is it worth buying a car scanner?
Determining whether it is worth buying a car scanner largely depends on an individual’s specific circumstances and needs. However, for those who regularly maintain their own vehicles, investing in a car scanner can be highly beneficial. This tool can help identify problems early, saving both time and potentially high repair costs.
It’s also valuable for those who wish to monitor their car’s overall health and performance in real time. Therefore, considering the efficiency and convenience it offers, one could argue that it is indeed worth buying a car scanner.
Will OBD2 read transmission codes?
Yes, the OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostics Version 2) system can indeed read transmission codes. OBD2 is a standardized system that electronic systems in vehicles use to self-diagnose and report. This system provides access to the status of the various vehicle subsystems, including the transmission.
In the event of a problem with your vehicle’s transmission, the OBD2 system can generate a specific fault code related to the issue. Therefore, if you’re questioning “Will OBD2 read transmission codes?”, the answer is a definitive yes. This capability greatly aids in identifying and resolving issues, making it a valuable tool for vehicle maintenance and repair.
What type of car scanner should I buy?
When contemplating “What type of car scanner should I buy?”, several factors should be considered. Your specific needs, the make and model of your vehicle, and your budget are crucial determinants. If you require basic diagnostic information, an OBD2 scanner would suffice.
However, for advanced diagnostics, a professional automotive diagnostic scanner becomes imperative. These scanners provide comprehensive data, including live engine details, system status, and trouble codes. Moreover, it’s advisable to invest in a car scanner that supports software updates for compatibility with newer models.
Therefore, understanding your requirements and researching various models can help decide what type of car scanner you should buy.
The comparison between Scangauge vs. Ultragauge obd2 diagnostic scanners is one that offers valuable insights into the efficiency and performance of these devices. Both scanners have proven their worth in the automotive industry, providing detailed and accurate diagnostic data for vehicle owners and mechanics. However, they also showcase unique features which set them apart.
Scangauge provides a compact design that is easy to install and operate. It has a comprehensive set of features that display real-time data, including fuel economy, battery voltage, engine load, and many more. It also boasts of an X-gauge programmable system, allowing users to customize the scanner according to specific vehicle parameters.
On the other hand, Ultragauge prides itself on its large display and user-friendly interface. This device comes with a vast range of pre-programmed parameters, eliminating the need for manual programming. It also displays more data parameters at once compared to Scangauge, making it a favorite among users who prefer a broader view of their vehicle’s performance.
The choice between Scangauge vs. Ultragauge obd2 diagnostic scanners depends on user preferences and specific requirements. Both offer reliable performance and detailed diagnostics, but their difference lies in the user interface, display, and programmability. While Scangauge offers customization options with its X-gauge feature, Ultragauge provides a large display and pre-set parameters for ease of use.
Looking at the product features of Scangauge and Ultragauge, it is evident that the Ultragauge is a better scanning tool with many options that the Scangauge doesn’t offer. However, both are popular in the car industry.