Handheld Automotive Diagnostic Tool with VIN Decoder and Communication System

  • US 20090276115A1
  • Filed: 07/13/2009
  • Published: 11/05/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/30/2005
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method of diagnosing a vehicle having an onboard computer and a vehicle identification number, the onboard computer configured to transmit the vehicle identification number in response to receipt of an identification request, the identification request being transmitted in a basic communication protocol, the onboard computer including diagnostic data being retrievable in response to receipt of a diagnostic request in a diagnostic protocol, the method comprising the steps of:

  • a. connecting a scan tool to the onboard computer;

    b. retrieving the vehicle identification number from the onboard computer;

    c. matching the vehicle identification number with a protocol database including diagnostic protocols associated with vehicle identification numbers to determine the diagnostic protocol for the onboard computer;

    d. re-configuring the scan tool to communicate in the diagnostic protocol;

    e. transmitting a diagnostic request in the diagnostic protocol from the scan tool to the onboard computer;

    f. receiving diagnostic data from the onboard computer;

    g. transmitting the diagnostic data from the scan tool to a cell phone via a local connectivity circuit;

    h. transmitting the diagnostic data from the cell phone to a main server via a cellular telephone network, the main server having a diagnostic database being arranged to map vehicle diagnostic data to a possible vehicle fix(es);

    i. soliciting a bid from a repair shop to perform the possible vehicle fix; and

    j. communicating the bid to the cell phone via the cellular telephone network.

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