Choosing the Right Engine Diagnostics Software

If you want to perform your own engine diagnostics on your vehicle to find problems or just to tune the motor for better performance, you may want to consider diagnostic and tuning software for your car's engine. When used in conjunction with a laptop and a couple of cables, you can use the software to find problems with your vehicle's motor and make modifications that will improve tuning and performance. However, before you go out and buy engine diagnostic software, there are some things you will need to consider so that you get the software that is best for your car.

Know Your Goal

Before you begin considering different types of engine diagnostic software for your vehicle, you should first determine what the goal of the software will be. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, there are software packages that are available that can be used to modify or tune the engine in different ways.

For example, some diagnostic software is used to only troubleshoot and find problems with the factory settings for your vehicle. On the other hand, other diagnostic software is used to modify or tune your car's engine in order to achieve better performance or alter fuel economy. Therefore, you need to know what you want to achieve with the software before you can choose the application that is best for you.

Know the Consequences

As mentioned above, some diagnostic software can be used to modify the factory settings for your car computer and engine so that performance is improved or fuel economy is affected. If you choose diagnostic software to achieve these types of results, you should be aware that there could be legal consequences and ramifications to using this type of software.

Almost all local and state government agencies that govern the use of motor vehicles have restrictions on the type of modifications that can be made to a car's electronic computer unit. Generally speaking, the types of modifications that are prohibited are ones that result in the vehicle not being able to meet emissions standards or minimal levels for fuel consumption and economy.

If you modify your car's engine with diagnostic software so that it does not meet government guidelines and standards, you can be fined and penalized. In some cases, the government may even seize or impound your vehicle. Therefore, before using diagnostic software to modify your car's computer, you may want to check the laws and rules governing this type of modification in your city and state.

Know What Else May Be Needed

If you want to make changes to your car's computer settings, you'll usually need more than just the software. At a minimum, you will need a laptop computer or other computer that can be connected to the electronic control unit on your vehicle. In most cases, this is achieved by using a serial cable or other specialty cable made for connecting your car's computer to a desktop or laptop computer. You may need other equipment as well; so, check with your car manufacturer for more information.