How to convert a laptop to an auto analyzer

Written by greyson ferguson
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How to convert a laptop to an auto analyzer
You can connect a laptop computer to your car's computer system. (laptop image by martini from

Most vehicles have some sort of built-in computer. This computer monitors power, engine performance and other features of the car. If you are curious as to how your car is performing, it is possible to connect your laptop to the vehicle's computer to view the on-board diagnostics (OBD) system.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Auto analyzer software
  • OBD1-to-USB cable

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  1. 1

    Locate the fuse box on the interior of your vehicle. This location will vary (although it typically is under your steering wheel). Check your owner's manual.

  2. 2

    Plug the OBD1 end of the cable into the open connection port of the OBD system inside the fuse box. The connection is roughly an inch wide, which is twice the size of the other fuse ports, so you should have no issue identifying the OBD1 port from the rest of the connections (it is also open without any fuse inserted)

  3. 3

    Connect the opposite end of the cable into a USB port on your laptop.

  4. 4

    Insert the software installation CD for the auto analyzer program. This program comes with the adaptor cable. Wait for the installation wizard to load on the screen. Accept the end-user agreement, then follow the prompts to install the software.

  5. 5

    Restart the computer and it will detect the connected car computer. Load the installed software to begin monitoring your vehicle and analysing its performance.

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