The Renault Diagnostic Tool – An Indispensable Tool for Used Cars?


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Nowadays, a Renault diagnostic device should not be missing in any toolbox. It is needed when repairs need to be made to the vehicle beyond filling the windshield wiper fluid or changing tires. Since more and more electronics have been used in modern motor vehicles in recent decades, repair and quick diagnosis with normal tools is usually no longer possible. Renault diagnostic equipment is needed to quickly and reliably locate specific sources of faults . In the meantime, many different devices are offered and we want to introduce you to cheap as well as practical alternatives to the Renault diagnostic devices of the vehicle manufacturer.

The history of Renault diagnostic equipment?

French automaker Renault now produces nearly 4 million vehicles a year. The company has been exporting vehicles to Germany since 1962 and is one of the largest car importers in this country. The U.S. market was also one of the company’s largest sales markets at an early stage. This also plays an important role in the history of the Renault Diagnostic Device.

Although many automakers began equipping vehicles with diagnostic plugs that enabled automated diagnostics at authorized repair shops as early as the 1960s, on-board diagnostics did not become successful until a law was passed in California. This was due to air pollution in California’s major cities in the 1980s. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) decided to tighten vehicle emissions laws during this time. However, the agency was clear that it was not enough to just set emissions standards for new registered vehicles. Compliance with emissions regulations had to be ensured over the entire service life of the cars. In order to be able to constantly check this, on-board diagnostics (OBD) was developed.

In order to be able to connect the vehicle in question to a Renault diagnostic device, an OBD diagnostic connector has been developed, as well as a monitoring device for monitoring exhaust gas values. A quota was set for how often vehicles had to self-diagnose and that a red warning light in the dashboard would alert the driver if something went wrong. The OBD standard was developed primarily to monitor exhaust emission levels and the function of the individual components that guarantee compliance with exhaust emission regulations. Over the years, however, vehicles have been equipped with more and more electronics, so OBD has become one of the most important tools for vehicle diagnostics.

Nowadays, Renault diagnostic devices can be connected to the OBD diagnostic connector to check the complete vehicle electronics and query error messages. These do not necessarily have to be serious errors, Renault diagnostic equipment also offers users the possibility of information

to be read out, which can be used for other purposes. For example, sophisticated Renault diagnostic equipment, such as the Carly OBD Scanner, can identify predictions of future problems and check a vehicle for mileage tampering.

The Renault diagnostic device - indispensable tool for used cars?
The Renault diagnostic device – indispensable tool for used cars?

What is Renault diagnostic device for OBD port?

The first Renault diagnostic devices were developed long before the introduction of OBD. They should enable authorized workshops to diagnose vehicles quickly, safely and efficiently. The first models were still huge devices that offered relatively little information and usually displayed the condition of the vehicle only with multicolored warning lights.

Over the past decades, Renault diagnostic equipment has also evolved. Nowadays, as vehicles have been equipped with more and more ECUs, all of which are interconnected by a bus system, a lot of information and fault diagnostics can be retrieved using a Renault diagnostic device. Modern Renault diagnostic equipment is not only an irreplaceable tool for specialists, nowadays it can be used by any vehicle owner who wants to know about the safety and current condition of his vehicle.

Advanced Renault diagnostic equipment allows even non-professionals to take a look at the vehicle’s electronics and find possible faults. The Carly OBD Scanner not only offers a traffic light system to quickly diagnose the condition of the vehicle, but it also offers particularly valuable aids that can be used when repairing vehicles. Simple and complete repair instructions are provided, as well as diagrams that are normally only available to specialists in authorized repair shops.

OBD2 Standard

The OBD standard was actually developed only for checking the components of the exhaust system. Although the standard was first only required by law in California, it is now considered a worldwide standard that is also mandatory for car manufacturers in Europe. If you own a Renault vehicle that was built after 1992, you can assume that your vehicle can be checked with a Renault diagnostic device.


The OBD2 adapter

To be able to connect a Renault diagnostic device to the vehicle, the OBD diagnostic connector is used. This should be no more than 1 m from the driver’s seat. On most Renault vehicles, it is located at the bottom of the dashboard, between the steering wheel and the driver’s door. However, on some models, the OBD diagnostic connector can also be found in the center console to the right of the driver. Generally, Renault diagnostic connectors are white or yellow.

The different types of Renault diagnostic equipment

In the meantime, many different Renault diagnostic devices are offered. We will introduce you to the different devices and their advantages and disadvantages.

The original Renault diagnostic device

The different types of Renault diagnostic equipment

The original Renault diagnostic equipment were cabinets equipped with rollers so that they could be moved from one vehicle to another in the workshops. The first Renault diagnostic devices could not yet give much information about the condition of a vehicle. Over the years, however, Renault has also modernized its diagnostic equipment.

Over the past decades, Renault has touted many different versions to authorized repairers. Handheld devices were offered that allow the technician to read various information from the vehicles and make an in-depth diagnosis of the vehicle’s electronics.

In recent years, however, Renault has moved to using laptops supplied with special software to check the manufacturer’s vehicles.

The different types of Renault diagnostic equipment

All these original Renault diagnostic devices are and were very expensive. Technicians had to attend training sessions to learn how to operate the equipment so they could use it efficiently in their daily work. Mechanics who could use Renault diagnostic equipment were considered specialists in the early years and are still considered especially qualified today.

Renault diagnostics handheld devices

As more and more electronics have been used in vehicles in recent decades, more and more Renault diagnostic equipment has also been developed for independent workshops and private individuals. The first devices were mostly handheld computers that could display the various information and options on a separate screen. These devices are still offered today as Renault diagnostic equipment. In most cases, these are universally applicable devices that offer the possibility of checking vehicles from several manufacturers using software developed in-house. They are primarily aimed at independent workshops that have to diagnose vehicles from various manufacturers on a daily basis. Workshops can choose between different subscription models and the software is sometimes updated several times a year.

Even today, many handheld computers are offered as Renault diagnostic equipment. However, they are relatively expensive and complicated to operate. They are mainly used in outdoor workshops and are usually rarely used by private individuals due to their high price and the training required.

Renault diagnostic software

In order to reduce the cost of a Renault diagnostics device, software has been offered for several years that is installed on laptops and is intended to replace a Renault diagnostics device. Laptops have the advantage of having a relatively large screen and plenty of storage and computing capacity. The scope of delivery then also includes various cables with which the laptop can be connected to the OBD diagnostic connector.

The range of software that can be used with a laptop as a Renault diagnostic device is now very large. Since a laptop is required for the diagnosis, the software can also not necessarily be called cheap as a Renault diagnostic device. It is also not particularly practical for private individuals to use a laptop for vehicle diagnostics. These devices are not necessarily suitable for use in workshops. In addition, there is always the risk that they can be damaged. This is another reason why software offers as a Renault diagnostic device have not become popular for use by private individuals.

Renault Diagnostics Mobile Applications

Mobile applications are considered the new generation of Renault diagnostic equipment. The performance and memory capacity of modern mobile devices has improved in recent years to such an extent that they are ideal for use as Renault diagnostic equipment. Today’s smartphones already have the computing power of laptops and some even have more memory. But the biggest advantage of smartphones over conventional Renault diagnostic devices is the ability to easily stow them in a pants or jacket pocket. We rarely leave the house without our smartphone anymore. This makes mobile devices particularly well suited for use as Renault diagnostic devices.

The manufacturer of OBD scanners Carly cleverly exploits the advantages of a smartphone. The customer only needs to insert an adapter into the OBD diagnostic connector, which then automatically connects to the smartphone through Bluetooth. All Android or iOS devices can be used for this purpose. The Carly OBD Scanner software can be downloaded for free and is ready to use immediately after installation. Reading the vehicle electronics information takes only a few minutes and all information can be analyzed by the software to provide the user with a comprehensive insight into the vehicle electronics without requiring extensive knowledge.

Why is a Renault Diagnostic Device App better?

Renault diagnostic equipment that can be used via mobile devices offers vehicle owners several advantages. We would like to introduce you to some of them here:

Background knowledge – Renault diagnostic device

Before you invest in a Renault diagnostic device, you should know exactly what information can be read from the OBD. One of the most important information is the error codes.

To properly understand the meaning of the error codes, you need to know how modern vehicles are built. In modern vehicles, up to 100 control units can be used to control the engine, provide safety functions, or even just to make the ride as comfortable as possible for the occupants. All these control units are interconnected and can exchange information.

In order to perform their task, control units can use sensors to query many different types of information. Should one of these control units, detect an error, it may generate an error code. Depending on the safety relevance, other control units can then react to this error code. A Renault diagnostic device offers the possibility to read the fault codes and clear them if necessary. This provides the vehicle owner with a lot of information about the condition of his vehicle. Errors can provide general information or indicate repairs that need to be made directly for safety reasons.

The Renault diagnostic device - indispensable tool for used cars?
The Renault diagnostic device – indispensable tool for used cars?

Error codes

With the establishment of the first OBD standard by the California Environmental Protection Agency, the fault codes that can be retrieved by a Renault diagnostic device were also established. In the USA, the DTC (Data Trouble Code) was developed, in which more than 11,000 different error messages have already been included. The DTC has also been adopted in the SAE J2012 and ISO 15031-6 standards.

The DTC consists of five different digits and breaks down as follows:

The DTC starts with a letter describing the position of the corresponding component:

The second letter indicates a general error with “0” or a manufacturer-specific error with “1”. This gives manufacturers the opportunity to define their own deficiencies. The third letter of the DTC is used for the location in the vehicle in whose component the fault occurs:

The fourth and fifth digits of the DTC are used to accurately identify the fault code. Here are some examples:

  • ss of rinsing
  • -Signal out of tolerance.
  • s sensor: no signal.

Control units in the vehicle

In recent decades, electronic control units have been found to offer many advantages in a motor vehicle. They can perform important safety functions and precisely control the engine to achieve the best performance, fuel economy and exhaust emissions. However, ECUs are not only used for controlling the engine and controlling important safety functions such as ABS or controlling the airbags. They can also be used for automatic climate control or a vehicle’s entertainment system. To allow manufacturers to define their own faults, each of these control units can provide important information to the owner of a vehicle. This is another reason why a Renault diagnostic device is very useful nowadays when a vehicle needs to be constantly checked for its driving safety and general condition.

CAN-BUS protocols

One of the most important advantages of electronic control units is the ability to exchange data with each other. This is made possible by the CAN bus, a communication network developed by the German company Bosch AG. It offers vehicle manufacturers the possibility of connecting the various control units with two cables, thus avoiding a lot of wiring.

The CAN bus system is used by most car manufacturers nowadays. The OBD diagnostic connector is also part of the CAN bus system and can thus use a Renault diagnostic device to retrieve all the information from the various control units in a motor vehicle.

OBD3 is in preparation

For years, numerous rumors about the OBD3 standard have arisen. It should have the ability to forward data to authorities or insurers through Wi-Fi or other communication channels. The point of this is that a vehicle’s exhaust system can be constantly checked and if there are any problems, the driver can be prompted to make the needed repairs immediately.

However, the possibility of a vehicle being able to forward information to authorities or insurers has already met with a lot of resistance in advance. For example, information about a vehicle’s speed could be forwarded to the insurance company, resulting in higher costs for the vehicle owner. Whether this is even possible in Europe due to the strict laws on data protection is not yet certain. Also an exact date, when or if the OBD3 standard will be introduced at all, is not yet available.

For this reason, it cannot be confirmed at the moment what the function of this new standard is and when it will be introduced. So far, only rumors exist and no official announcements.

Why should I buy the Carly Renault diagnostic tool?

Carly OBD Scanner represents the latest generation of Renault diagnostic equipment. It not only offers the normal functions of a Renault diagnostic device, such as reading the fault code or clearing it if necessary. Through the app, more incoming diagnostics can be made than is possible with a normal Renault diagnostic device. The app is constantly updated so that the user can always use the latest features.

The combination of a Renault diagnostic device with a mobile device has been so well achieved in the Carly OBD Scanner that all the advantages of both devices can be used. Nowadays, there is no reason to invest in expensive Renault diagnostic equipment and not use Carly’s modern technology. Also because beginners and experienced technicians can exhaust all possibilities to be able to diagnose a vehicle quickly and inexpensively.


Nowadays, a Renault diagnostic device is required if a vehicle owner wants to diagnose his vehicle himself. Due to the electronics in modern vehicles, it is nowadays almost impossible to repair a motor vehicle without a Renault diagnostic device.

The alternative would be to take the vehicle to a specialist workshop at regular intervals and have the vehicle electronics diagnosed there. Even if specialists are employed there to evaluate the information from the vehicle’s electronics, not all of the information is usually passed on to customers. Aside from the high cost, this also creates a time commitment that usually does not justify the result.

If you want to find out exactly about the condition of your vehicle, but don’t want to use the services of a specialist garage every time, a Renault diagnostic device is the only way to check the exact condition of a vehicle when needed.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.

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