5 Reasons to Avoid Buying Cheap Car Diagnostic Tools

If you are a car owner, chances are you’ve probably faced at least one problem with your car. Research shows that the most common car issues are things such as a dead battery, alternator problems, poor fuel performance, brakes problems, or engine damage.

However, one of the most noticeable problems is warning lights on your dashboard. These signs or lights could both indicate and identify a more serious issue with your car or could be the problem itself, which could confuse car owners if nothing is wrong with their car, but they keep seeing these lights on their dashboard.

These lights and signs are useful but they could also be annoying. It’s important to know what each of them means since it can help you detect and solve your car issues. That being said, the first thing you should know is that if a sign stays on, it means that there’s either a problem with the sensor that indicates an issue or there’s really a problem with your engine, throttle control, battery, and so on. But the thing is – you can never be completely sure whether there’s a real issue or not if you don’t visit a mechanic, or do a thorough check-up of your car.


However, it’s not always that simple. You can’t run to your mechanic every time one of the warning lights and symbols pop up, since it’s both time-consuming and inconvenient, as well as pretty expensive. That being said, is there an alternative?

In case you haven’t heard about automotive diagnostic tools, they are being used exactly in this situation. These are the tools that can help you diagnose certain issues on your vehicle by displaying different codes for each and every issue. These tools can be bought almost anywhere and can really make your life easier when it comes to determining if there’s something wrong and if you need to take the next step, which is visiting your mechanic.

It could be said that these small devices help you pass the bridge from the unknown to a semi-solved problem. When you have a code and you’re able to navigate your mechanic, then it will be easier for you and them to fix it for you. On the other hand, if you are into DIY, and you are usually fixing your car issues by yourself, this little tool can really help you fix the problem and repair your car, replace a part, etc. But no matter how useful diagnostic tools are, you have to be aware of the fact that not all of them are equally good and there are many factors that determine whether your tool will be good or not.

According to, the most important or one of the most important factors is definitely the price and the type of your diagnostic tool. While it may seem unnecessary to purchase more expensive diagnostic tools for your car, there are plenty of reasons for doing so. Cheap diagnostic tools can bring more harm than good. Let’s dive into some of the most important reasons why you should avoid purchasing cheap diagnostic tools for your car.

1. They Can Mislead You

Cheap OBD readers can be misleading and can show that there are no problems at all, which can cause you even bigger issues with your car and more expensive repairs in the future. On the other hand, they might show you a mistake that’s not even there and can mislead you into finding a problem that is actually in some other place. This is why you should avoid spending less initially because it will create bigger problems in the long run and make you spend more in the end.

2. They Can Miss Out On Detecting A Problem

One of the biggest problems with cheap detecting tools is the fact that the cheaper ones can only detect a few problems or the ones that are the biggest, while at the same time some small issues might grow over time so they also need to be detected right at the beginning. When you’re purchasing an OBD reader, you need to make sure that it can give you a huge variety of information because that’s the whole point of such a fool.

3. They Can Do Harm To Your Electronics


This rarely happens but it’s possible if you use a cheap diagnostic tool. It can do harm to your electronics and can cause you a lot of damage and you can waste a lot of your money only because you didn’t want to invest more initially. These devices are there to read errors on your car and are quite similar to the ones at your mechanic’s – if they are of good quality. If they are cheap there is always a possibility for them to insert a virus in your car or cause other issues and you definitely want to avoid that.

4. They Can Stop Working Too Soon

Just like any other device, if you opt for a more expensive one, this usually means that its lifespan will be much longer. This is also the case with OBD readers. It might seem like a logical thing: to spend less money on such a tool, since this is only the first step before you visit a mechanic, but why would you waste your money anyway if this device doesn’t work or if it would stop working after you use it several times. This is the reason why you should always go with the more expensive one.

5. They Might Not Be Compatible With Your Vehicle


Although car diagnostic tools are usually universal, it’s important to mention that not all of them are compatible with all car types and brands. You need to have this in mind when you’re purchasing one for yourself and especially if you wanna buy a cheap one because chances are it will have fewer options and it might not be compatible with your car. This is the reason why you should always read prospects, read the reviews online about the diagnostics you want to purchase, and finally – opt for a more expensive one as the chances are higher it will work for you.

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