What is the purpose of a diagnostic bag?

A diagnostic bag is simply a computer that will be connected to the car to perform maintenance (update, reset) but also to identify faults.

Diagnostic suitcase, an indispensable automotive tool

All cars are now shipping electronics and many features are managed by electronics, including the engine of the automobile. To ensure control and some maintenance operations on the vehicle, manufacturers offer a plug on the vehicle to connect a diagnostic case. Also called fault code reader, the diagnostic bag can be dedicated to a brand or multi-brand. Different models are even offered for sale to individuals, allowing them to access certain information when they perform the repairs themselves.

Otherwise, the brand concessions have manufacturers models, specially designed by car manufacturers and to intervene on all models of the brand. Automobile centers or garages have multi-brand models, they are simply computers that have loaded all the necessary versions of suitcases to work on all brands of vehicles.

How does a diagnostic case work?

The case can take the form of a conventional computer, on which we will install software and connect to the vehicle with a plug (OBD, OBD1, OBD2 …) adapted to the make of the vehicle. Once connected, it is necessary to launch the software to obtain the first information. Professional diagnostic cases look like totems on wheels to suitcases, incorporating a computer inside. Equipped with a screen and a keyboard as well as keys to be able to launch the diagnosis and to carry out operations, the suitcase needs to be recharged and to be connected on the vehicle to function.

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Once connected, the bag can retrieve some information about:

  • The braking system
  • The admission system
  • Vehicle lighting
  • Security (ABS, Airbag …)
  • Maintenance information

To succeed in obtaining this information, one must be sure of having chosen the right model of car, this can be done by the information of the number plate, otherwise it is necessary to refine the choice of the vehicle by the mark, the model, the finish, the motorization and sometimes even the number of places. Choosing the wrong vehicle can result in misinterpretation of the diagnostic bag data or simply not running the tool.

What are the benefits of using the diagnostic bag?

Many breakdowns are now related to electronics. A vehicle intervention for a change of room or a sensor may cause a fault code, that is to say, display a light on the dashboard that remains fixed or simply cause the inability to restart the vehicle. Several thousands of fault codes exist, so it is not easy to identify the faulty sensor or the origin of the fault without connecting, especially when the diagnostic cases ensure the translation of this fault code, a very important information allowing to identify the failure more quickly.

When garages or operators approach the errors displayed on the bag, they will first perform a history scan and check whether it is a temporary error or a permanent error. The calculator of the car may well have a failure, it will cause a temporary error and the operator will be able to note this defect, a simple reset will update the table of the car. The case also allows you to intervene on the vehicle, clear the error table and check if the fault codes reappear. The operator can thus know if the fault has been found and resolved, or if a sensor continues to send information about a fault still present.