Scan tool or Scope?
Many people ask “Should I buy a scan tool or a scope”. The answer is that you will need both. A scan tool will revile the symptoms and can give you a starting point, perhaps indicating a misfire on a specific cylinder or faulty sensor. However too often the less experienced technician then ends replacing several parts before the problem is solved. This is where Oscilloscopes should be used:
- To eliminate guesswork and test individual components before they are replaced.
- To find intermittent wiring and connector faults.
- When a vehicle has an issue but no DTC’s
- As the best way to find ignition faults
- To identify problems with turbo actuators, injectors and motors that are not monitored by the ECU.
- To identify mechanical problems such as compression and slipped / incorrectly fitted timing belts.
For the technician oscilloscopes lead to faster, more efficient diagnostics and a better understanding of how vehicle systems work. The Oscilloscope also gives the technician the tools to present evidence to the customer & justify a price for diagnostics.