How To Read Live Data From OBD2

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Understanding obd2 live data is a lot easier than it might sound, but there are a few things you need to know first. Using the wrong process while scanning your vehicle’s systems can cause the readings to be inaccurate.

Additionally, before reading your vehicle’s trouble codes, you’ll need to know how to get the process started. Continue reading to learn exactly how to read obd2 live data.

Understanding OBD2 Live Data Codes

How to read live data from OBD2?
How to read live data from OBD2?

Understanding live data from your OBD2 scanner is actually quite simple. That being said, some scanners make it easier than others. You’ll have a much easier time with OBD2 scanners that include a “definition lookup” feature.

Obd2 live data scan tool includes a lot of codes that novice users won’t understand. That means that you’ll have to look them up online. If your OBD2 scanner includes the definition feature, you’ll save a lot of time. That’s the gist of it.

Whether or not your OBD2 scanner displays definitions, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when scanning your cars trouble codes. These tips will ensure that you’re getting the most accurate OBD2 readings.  

How to Get Accurate OBD2 Live Data

Before you even begin to scan your vehicle’s trouble codes, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Check out the list of tips below to make sure your OBD2 live data is totally accurate. Here, we’ll take you through the entire process of connecting and optimally using your OBD2 live data scanner.

Vehicle Compatibility

The first thing you’ll want to do is get a compatible obd2 scanner. There are a lot of different obd2 scanners for different vehicles, so it’s important to make sure that the obd2 scanner you purchase is compatible with your vehicle. There are a few ways to do this.

A representative from your local automotive shop will probably be obliged to assist you in choosing the correct obd2 scanner for your vehicle, but online retailers will likely provide you with a much wider range of options with more competitive prices.

Online retailers will almost always include a list of supported vehicles so that you can determine for yourself whether or not your vehicle will be supported. Once you’ve chosen an appropriate obd2 scanner, you’ll just need to connect it to your vehicle to begin the process.


You can also purchase wireless obd2 scanners that connect via wifi or Bluetooth. to read live data
You can also purchase wireless obd2 scanners that connect via wifi or Bluetooth.

OBD2 scanners can connect to your vehicle in a variety of ways. Here, we’ll mostly be talking about wired OBD2 scanners. You can also purchase wireless OBD2 scanners that connect via wifi or Bluetooth.

Every other step on this list will work for wireless scanners such as these, but the connection methods for wireless scanners can vary between units. Luckily, most scanners come with a manual that will describe in detail how to connect them to your vehicle.

That being said, to connect a wired OBD2 scanner to your vehicle, you’ll just need to locate your vehicle’s OBD2 live data port. This plug-in port is typically located on or near your vehicle’s dash. If you’re having trouble finding your vehicle’s data port, a quick google search will provide you with information that’ll help you find your vehicle’s port in no time.


Next, you can go ahead and start your engine, but don’t begin scanning just yet. “Live data” is just that. These scanners provide you with your vehicle’s real-time data, so you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is at its normal operating temperature before scanning.

At first, your vehicle’s engine will be too cool for you to get practical readings. Let it heat up to at least 180°F before scanning.

Once your vehicle has reached the optimal operating temperature for scanning, you can navigate your obd2 live data scanner’s menu. On the front menu, there will typically be a “live data” option. In this case, you’ll want to select “live data.”

Looking up codes during a live data stream can be tedious, but, luckily, most scanners allow you to capture data with a “freeze frame data” option. This allows you to go back and look at your data results later.

Pro Tips

Before reading anything else, check out the “STFT” (Short-Term Fuel Trim) and “LTFT” (Long-Term Fuel Trim) readings. Issues with STFT and LTFT percentages are some of the most common, and finding out whether or not your percentages are where they should be is very easy.

The same rules apply to both STFT and LTFT. You’ll want your percentage to be close to 5%. If it’s above 10% or below -10%, you’ll want to take a closer look or have a mechanic do so for you.

Check your coolant’s temperature. Ideally, you’ll want it to be 190°F or higher when your engine is at the optimal operating temperature.

Bonus: Click here to learn more about Top OBD2 Live Data Scanners


The above information should have you on your way to learning how to read OBD2 live data like a pro. A lot goes into reading OBD2 live data, but if you follow the steps listed above, you’re already most of the way there. Of course, vehicle’s can encounter a wide number of problems, some of which OBD2 live data scanners won’t even detect.

If you’re experiencing vehicle problems that your OBD2 scanner won’t fix, it’s best to let a skilled mechanic take a look. However, these scanners will cover the vast majority of your potential vehicular troubles.

Read more: Best OBD2 Scanner: Complete Buying Guide and Review 2021

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