The fuel performance of vehicles is something most of us want to keep an eye on. Why is it important? To maintain fuel economy, have an idea of mileage, and of course to be a responsible citizen. You know, less fuel consumption equals less pollution.
For fuel or engine enthusiasts, the automotive industry came up with on-board diagnostics (OBD) tools. These tools help you to figure out everything about your engine.
There are two generations of these tools, the first one called OBD that could be installed in vehicles manufactured before 1996 and the other one called OBD II supported by all the vehicles after 1996.
Scangauge and Ultragauge both are OBD II mini-computers that can help you understand your vehicle’s performance better.
Here’s a detailed comparison of both the products based on various product features.
Product Features for Scangauge
Since this text will be comparative, we will lay out the same product features for both the products to better understand the differences.
Scangauge has a LED display with five buttons for navigation. There’s a home button to see the home screen, and the rest of the four buttons are function buttons.
The four function buttons include:
- Scan- Located at the top left corner, the scan tool displays the trouble codes, and turns off the check engine light.
- Trip- Below the scan button, there’s a trip button that displays useful information about a trip you have selected.
- Gauge- On the top right corner, you can see a gauge button that displays four gauges at any given time.
- More- You can use the more button to access settings and configurations.
Number of Gauges
Scangauge has a total of 17 gauges to show the engine and fuel performance. You can view four gauges at a time giving you real-time data of your vehicle.
While the primary gauges stay the same across all vehicles, there may be some gauges with more than one abbreviation across different vehicles depending on the vehicle type.
The most common gauges for performance management of your vehicle include:
- Cost per Mile (CPM)- Cost per mile of a vehicle at any given time.
- Miles per Gallon (MPH)- MPG shows the number of miles the vehicle runs in a gallon of fuel.
You can change the unit of distance to Kilometer, and the unit of capacity to litres. The gauge indicators change to Kilometer per litre(KPG), Miles per litre (MPL) etc. as per the preference.
- Meter per Hour (MPH)- MPH is the gauge for displaying speed. You can adjust the indicator to Kilometer per Hour (KPH) if you want to see the speed in another unit.
- Trouble Codes
As mentioned earlier, the Scan button shows trouble codes. The ‘check engine’ indicator turns on if there is a problem with the engine. There can be hundreds of trouble codes, and it is a challenge to determine what the error code means.
The trouble code has two parts. One is the error code ID that shows the part which has a problem. The other part is the failure mode (FM) ID that indicates the nature of the problem.
If you see a trouble code, enter the information with your vehicle’s specifications into a search engine to better understand the problem.
The Scangauge has three parts. A display screen, A connector cord, velcro straps for mounting the monitor.
The installation is just a two-step process where you plug in the connector and mount the screen with the velcro straps that start working when the engine starts.
Product Features for Ultragauge
While both Scangauge and Ultragauge serve the same purpose, there are differences in the product features. Let’s see what Ultragauge has to offer on-screen display parameters, number of gauges, trouble codes, and installation.
Ultragauge uses an LCD as compared to Scangauge which uses an LED display. The screen can be programmed to display 4, 6 or 8 gauges simultaneously, given a big display screen size.
The screen uses light from its LED backlighting. It makes the text readable on the screen at darker times of the day.
The gauges are organized into pages where they show a specific category of gauges such as gauges related to speed on a single page.
Number of Gauges
The ultra gauge has 78 gauge options. The gauges range from speed, fuel economy to sophisticated gauges related to temperature and pressure. While most of the gauges operate across every type of vehicle, some may not be compatible with all sorts of vehicles.
Some of the gauges that are exceptional other than the usual gauges include:
- Instantaneous MPG- Instantaneous MPG measures the fuel economy of the vehicle at any specific time.
- Miles Traveled Since Check Engine Light Cleared- The gauge tells that after a trouble code’s clearance, how many miles have the vehicle covered. It can tell a driver about how well the engine is running after a repaired fault.
- Run Time Since Last Start- This gauge shows the time for which a vehicle has been turned on after the last ignition.
- Evaporative Purge %- The gauge gives the percentage of fuel vapours burnt inside the engine.
The Ultragauge not only displays the current trouble codes, but it also identifies the potential troubles that you can face. Not only that, there is an option of seeing pending trouble codes that got ignored once you turned the ‘check engine’ light off.
These trouble codes are thoroughly defined in the user manual of the Ultragauge scan tool.
The installation of Ultragauge is almost the same as the Scangauge. You just need to plug the cable and mount the display screen on a place on the windscreen that doesn’t interfere with your vision.
However, the newer models of Ultragauge require you to connect them to your phone for a better display.
Looking at the product features of Scangauge and Ultragauge, it is evident that the Ultragauge is a better scanning tool with many options that the Scangauge doesn’t offer. However, both are popular in the car industry.