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License Key Pcmscan: A Complete Guide to OBD-II Scanning and Diagnostics



License Key Pcmscan: What You Need to Know




If you own a car that was manufactured after 1996, chances are it has an OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) system that monitors its performance and emissions. This system can also alert you when something is wrong with your vehicle by turning on the check engine light. But how do you know what the problem is and how to fix it? That's where an OBD-II scanner comes in handy.




License Key Pcmscan



An OBD-II scanner is a device that can plug into your car's OBD-II port and communicate with its onboard computer. It can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), display live data, freeze frame data, and other vehicle information. It can also help you perform various tests and functions, such as checking your battery, resetting your oil light, measuring your horsepower, and more.


One of the most popular OBD-II scanners on the market is Pcmscan. Pcmscan is a fully featured generic OBD-II scanner and diagnostic software that supports a wide variety of OBD-II hardware interfaces. It allows viewing, charting, logging and playback of diagnostic data in real time via the vehicle's OBD-II diagnostic data port. It also allows viewing of vehicle Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), Freeze Frame data, and other vehicle information.


In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Pcmscan, including its features, benefits, installation, usage, license key, and troubleshooting. By the end of this article, you will be able to use Pcmscan like a pro and save time and money on car repairs.


What is Pcmscan?




Pcmscan is a software product developed by Palmer Performance Engineering, Inc., a company that specializes in automotive diagnostics and performance tuning. Pcmscan is designed to work with any OBD-II compliant vehicle, whether it be US, Asian, or European. It supports all OBD-II protocols, including SAE-J1850 (PWM and VPW), ISO-9141, ISO-14230 (KWP2000), and ISO-15765 (CAN).


Features and benefits of Pcmscan




Pcmscan is not just a simple OBD-II scanner. It is a powerful and versatile diagnostic tool that offers many features and benefits for car owners, enthusiasts, and professionals. Some of the features and benefits of Pcmscan are:


  • It can read and clear DTCs from all supported modules, such as engine, transmission, ABS, airbag, body, chassis, etc. It can also display the DTC definitions and possible causes.



  • It can view live data from various sensors and actuators, such as engine speed, coolant temperature, oxygen sensor, throttle position, fuel pressure, etc. It can also display the data in different formats, such as digital, analog, graph, or gauge.



  • It can view freeze frame data, which is a snapshot of the vehicle's condition at the time a DTC was set. It can also view vehicle information, such as VIN, calibration ID, protocol, etc.



  • It can use virtual dashboards to create custom displays of live data on your computer screen. You can choose from various skins and layouts, or create your own using the dashboard editor.



  • It can use drag strip and dyno features to measure your vehicle's performance, such as 0-60 mph time, quarter mile time and speed, horsepower, torque, etc. You can also compare your results with other vehicles or previous runs.



  • It can use data logging features to record and playback live data for later analysis. You can also export the data to CSV or XML files for further processing.



  • It can use plugins to extend its functionality and compatibility. You can download plugins from the Pcmscan website or create your own using the plugin SDK.



  • It has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and customize. You can change the language, units, fonts, colors, sounds, etc. according to your preference.



  • It has a comprehensive help system that provides detailed instructions and tips on how to use the software and scanner.



With Pcmscan, you can diagnose and fix your car problems yourself without relying on expensive mechanics or dealerships. You can also monitor your car's health and performance and optimize it for better efficiency and performance.


Supported OBD-II protocols and hardware interfaces




Pcmscan supports all OBD-II protocols that are used by different vehicles around the world. These protocols are:


  • SAE-J1850 PWM: This protocol is used by most Ford vehicles sold in North America.



  • SAE-J1850 VPW: This protocol is used by most GM vehicles sold in North America.



  • ISO-9141: This protocol is used by most European and Asian vehicles sold before 2004.



  • ISO-14230 (KWP2000): This protocol is used by some European and Asian vehicles sold after 2004.



  • ISO-15765 (CAN): This protocol is used by most vehicles sold after 2008 worldwide. It has two variants: 11-bit ID (CAN 2.0A) and 29-bit ID (CAN 2.0B).



Pcmscan can work with any OBD-II hardware interface that supports these protocols. Some of the supported hardware interfaces are:


  • ELM (and compatibles): These are low-cost devices that use an ELM327 chip or a compatible clone to communicate with the vehicle's OBD-II port. They can be connected to the computer via USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial port.



  • J2534: These are devices that comply with the SAE J2534 standard for reprogramming vehicle ECUs. They can be connected to the computer via USB or Ethernet.



  • Autotap (VIA LDV): These are devices that use a VIA LDV100 chip to communicate with the vehicle's OBD-II port. They can be connected to the computer via USB or serial port.



  • GoPoint BT1/BT1A: These are devices that use Bluetooth technology to communicate with the vehicle's OBD-II port. They can be paired with any Bluetooth-enabled computer or smartphone.



  • OBDLink LX/MX/MX+: These are devices that use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology to communicate with the vehicle's OBD-II port. They have enhanced features such as battery saver mode, hacker-proof security, overvoltage protection, etc.



How to install Pcmscan software and driver




Before you can use Pcmscan, you need to install the software and driver on your computer. The software and driver are compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. You also need to have a supported OBD-II hardware interface and a USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial cable to connect it to your computer and vehicle.


The installation process is simple and straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:


System requirements and compatibility




The minimum system requirements for Pcmscan are:


  • A PC with a Pentium III or higher processor



  • At least 256 MB of RAM



  • At least 50 MB of free hard disk space



  • A CD-ROM drive or an internet connection to download the software



  • A USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial port to connect the OBD-II hardware interface



  • A supported OBD-II hardware interface (see the previous section for a list of supported devices)



  • A vehicle that is OBD-II compliant (see the previous section for a list of supported protocols)



Pcmscan is compatible with most OBD-II compliant vehicles sold worldwide. However, some vehicles may have specific features or functions that are not supported by Pcmscan or the OBD-II hardware interface. To check the compatibility of your vehicle, you can visit the Pcmscan website and use the compatibility checker tool.


Step-by-step installation guide




To install Pcmscan software and driver, follow these steps:


  • Insert the Pcmscan CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive. If you don't have a CD-ROM drive or you don't have the CD-ROM, you can download the software from the Pcmscan website.



  • The installation wizard will start automatically. If it doesn't, you can run the setup.exe file from the CD-ROM or the downloaded folder.



  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation. You will be asked to accept the license agreement, choose the destination folder, select the components to install, and create shortcuts.



  • When the installation is finished, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Click Yes to restart your computer.



  • After restarting your computer, plug in your OBD-II hardware interface to your computer's USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial port. Windows will detect the device and install the driver automatically. If it doesn't, you can use the device manager to update the driver manually.



  • You are now ready to use Pcmscan. To launch the software, double-click on the Pcmscan icon on your desktop or in your start menu.



How to use Pcmscan software and scanner




Now that you have installed Pcmscan software and driver, you can start using it to scan your vehicle and access its diagnostic data. To use Pcmscan, you need to connect the OBD-II hardware interface to your vehicle and your computer, and then launch the software and select the appropriate settings. Here are the steps you need to follow:


How to connect the scanner to your vehicle and computer




To connect the scanner to your vehicle and computer, follow these steps:


  • Locate the OBD-II port on your vehicle. It is usually located under the dashboard, near the steering wheel, or in the center console. You can refer to your vehicle's manual or use the OBD-II port locator tool on the Pcmscan website to find it.



  • Plug in the OBD-II hardware interface to the OBD-II port on your vehicle. Make sure it is firmly inserted and not loose.



  • Connect the other end of the OBD-II hardware interface to your computer's USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial port. Depending on the type of interface you have, you may need to pair it with your computer or enter a password.



  • Turn on the ignition of your vehicle, but do not start the engine. This will power up the OBD-II system and the scanner.



How to read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs)




Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) are codes that are stored in your vehicle's onboard computer when it detects a problem with its performance or emissions. They can help you identify and fix the problem before it causes more damage or affects your safety. To read and clear DTCs, follow these steps:


  • Launch Pcmscan software on your computer. The software will automatically detect and connect to the scanner and the vehicle.



  • Click on the Scan Tool button on the toolbar. This will open the Scan Tool window, where you can access various functions and features of the scanner.



  • Click on the DTCs tab on the left panel. This will display a list of DTCs that are stored in your vehicle's modules, such as engine, transmission, ABS, airbag, etc.



  • To read a DTC, select it from the list and click on the Read button. This will display the DTC definition, possible causes, symptoms, and solutions on the right panel.



  • To clear a DTC, select it from the list and click on the Clear button. This will erase the DTC from your vehicle's memory and turn off the check engine light. Note that clearing a DTC does not fix the problem that caused it. You should fix the problem first before clearing the DTC.



How to view live data, freeze frame data, and vehicle information




Live data is real-time data that is generated by various sensors and actuators in your vehicle. It can help you monitor your vehicle's health and performance and diagnose problems. Freeze frame data is a snapshot of live data at the time a DTC was set. It can help you determine what conditions triggered the DTC. Vehicle information is basic information about your vehicle, such as VIN, calibration ID, protocol, etc. To view live data, freeze frame data, and vehicle information, follow these steps:


  • Launch Pcmscan software on your computer. The software will automatically detect and connect to the scanner and the vehicle.



  • Click on the Scan Tool button on the toolbar. This will open the Scan Tool window, where you can access various functions and features of the scanner.



the left panel. This will display a list of live data parameters that are available for your vehicle, such as engine speed, coolant temperature, oxygen sensor, throttle position, fuel pressure, etc.


  • To view a live data parameter, select it from the list and click on the View button. This will display the live data value on the right panel. You can also choose how to display the live data value, such as digital, analog, graph, or gauge.



  • To view freeze frame data, click on the Freeze Frame tab on the left panel. This will display a list of freeze frame data parameters that are available for your vehicle. These are the same parameters as live data, but they show the values at the time a DTC was set.



  • To view a freeze frame data parameter, select it from the list and click on the View button. This will display the freeze frame data value on the right panel. You can also choose how to display the freeze frame data value, such as digital, analog, graph, or gauge.



  • To view vehicle information, click on the Vehicle Info tab on the left panel. This will display basic information about your vehicle, such as VIN, calibration ID, protocol, etc.



How to use virtual dashboards, drag strip, dyno, and data logging features




Pcmscan also offers some advanced features that can help you enhance your vehicle's performance and functionality. These features are:


  • Virtual dashboards: These are custom displays of live data on your computer screen that mimic the look and feel of real dashboards. You can use them to monitor your vehicle's speed, RPM, fuel level, boost pressure, etc.



  • Drag strip: This is a feature that allows you to measure your vehicle's acceleration and speed over a fixed distance, such as 0-60 mph or quarter mile. You can use it to test your vehicle's performance and compare it with other vehicles or previous runs.



  • Dyno: This is a feature that allows you to measure your vehicle's horsepower and torque over a range of RPMs. You can use it to evaluate your vehicle's engine output and efficiency.



  • Data logging: This is a feature that allows you to record and playback live data for later analysis. You can use it to troubleshoot problems, optimize settings, or share data with others.



To use these features, follow these steps:


  • Launch Pcmscan software on your computer. The software will automatically detect and connect to the scanner and the vehicle.



  • Click on the Performance button on the toolbar. This will open the Performance window, where you can access various features and functions of Pcmscan.



  • To use virtual dashboards, click on the Dashboards tab on the left panel. This will display a list of virtual dashboards that are available for your vehicle. You can choose from various skins and layouts, or create your own using the dashboard editor.



  • To use drag strip, click on the Drag Strip tab on the left panel. This will display a window where you can set up and start a drag strip run. You can choose the distance, units, start trigger, stop trigger, etc.



  • To use dyno, click on the Dyno tab on the left panel. This will display a window where you can set up and start a dyno run. You can choose the units, correction factor, smoothing factor, etc.



, and how to name them.


How to get a license key for Pcmscan software




Pcmscan software is not free. You need to purchase a license key to use it without any limitations or restrictions. A license key is a unique code that activates the software and unlocks all its features and functions. Without a license key, you can only use Pcmscan in demo mode, which has the following limitations:


  • You can only connect to one vehicle at a time.



  • You can only view live data for 10 minutes per session.



  • You can only view up to 10 DTCs per session.



  • You can only view up to 10 freeze frame data parameters per session.



  • You can only use one virtual dashboard per session.



  • You can only perform one drag strip or dyno run per session.



  • You can only log up to 10 live data parameters per session.



  • You cannot use any plugins or create your own dashboards.



To get a license key for Pcmscan software, follow these steps:


Why you need a license key




A license key is necessary for using Pcmscan software without any limitations or restrictions. A license key has the following benefits:


  • It allows you to connect to unlimited vehicles and view all their diagnostic data.



  • It allows you to use all the features and functions of Pcmscan, such as virtual dashboards, drag strip, dyno, data logging, plugins, etc.



  • It allows you to receive free updates and support from Pcmscan.



  • It allows you to support the development and improvement of Pcmscan.



How to purchase a license key online




To purchase a license key online, follow these steps:


  • Visit the Pcmscan website and click on the Buy Now button.



  • Select the type of license you want to buy. You can choose from three options: Single User License ($89.95), Professional License ($199.95), or Site License ($999.95).



  • Enter your personal and payment information and click on the Checkout button.



  • After completing the payment, you will receive an email with your license key and instructions on how to activate it.



How to enter the license key and activate the software




To enter the license key and activate the software, follow these steps:


  • Launch Pcmscan software on your computer. The software will automatically detect and connect to the scanner and the vehicle.



  • Click on the Help button on the toolbar and select About Pcmscan from the menu.



  • In the About Pcmscan window, click on the Enter License Key button.



  • In the Enter License Key window, enter your name, email address, and license key exactly as they appear in the email you received.



  • Click on the Activate button. The software will verify your license key and activate it.



  • You will see a confirmation message that your license key has been activated successfully. Click on OK to close the window.



  • You can now use Pcmscan software without any limitations or restrictions.



How to troubleshoot common problems with Pcmscan software and scanner




Pcmscan software and scanner are designed to work smoothly and reliably with most OBD-II compliant vehicles and computers. However, sometimes you may encounter some problems or errors that prevent you from using them properly. In this section, we will show you how to troubleshoot some common problems with Pcmscan software and scanner and how to fix them.


How to fix connection issues




One of the most common problems with Pcmscan software and scanner is connection issues. This means that the software cannot detect or communicate with the scanner or the vehicle. This can be caused by various factors, such as faulty cables, incompatible devices, incorrect settings, etc. To fix connection issues, follow these steps:


  • Check the physical connection between the scanner, the vehicle, and the computer. Make sure that the cables are not damaged, loose, or disconnected. Make sure that the scanner is firmly plugged into the OBD-II port on the vehicle and that the computer recognizes the scanner as a USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or serial device.



Check the compatibility between the scanner, the vehicle, and the computer. Make sure that the scanner supports the OBD-II protocol used by your vehi


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