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Can an OBD2 scan tool read the turbo boost value?

by udiagtech 18 Sep 2023 0 Comments

In today's fast-paced world of automotive technology, keeping your vehicle in top-notch condition is crucial. To do this, you need to have access to the right tools and information. One tool that has become increasingly popular among car enthusiasts and mechanics is the OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostics) scan tool. But can this handy device also read the turbo boost value? Let's delve into the world of OBD2 scan tools and turbo boost to find out.

 I. Understanding OBD2 Scan Tools

1.1 What is an OBD2 Scan Tool?

OBD2 scan tools are diagnostic devices that connect to your vehicle's OBD2 port, typically located under the dashboard near the driver's seat. These tools are designed to communicate with your car's onboard computer system, retrieve diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), and provide valuable insights into your vehicle's health.

 1.2 How Do OBD2 Scan Tools Work?

OBD2 scan tools work by interfacing with your car's Engine Control Module (ECM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM). They retrieve data from various sensors and systems within your vehicle and translate this information into easily understandable diagnostic trouble codes. These codes help identify issues such as engine misfires, faulty sensors, and emissions problems.

II. Turbo Boost and Its Significance

2.1 What is Turbo Boost?

Turbo boost, often referred to as "boost," is a crucial metric for vehicles equipped with turbochargers. A turbocharger compresses air before it enters the engine's combustion chamber, resulting in increased power and efficiency. Turbo boost measures the amount of extra air pressure that the turbocharger delivers to the engine, allowing it to generate more horsepower and torque.

2.2 Why is Turbo Boost Important?

Turbo boost is essential for optimizing an engine's performance. It plays a vital role in enhancing acceleration, improving fuel efficiency, and delivering the thrilling driving experience that many car enthusiasts crave. Monitoring turbo boost levels helps ensure that your vehicle is operating at its peak performance.

III. Can OBD2 Scan Tools Read Turbo Boost Value?

Now, the crucial question: can an OBD2 scan tool read the turbo boost value? The answer is both yes and no, depending on your vehicle and the type of OBD2 scan tool you have.

IV. OBD2 Scan Tools and Turbo Boost Reading

Basic OBD2 Scan Tools: Standard OBD2 scan tools primarily focus on reading diagnostic trouble codes and monitoring basic engine parameters such as RPM, coolant temperature, and oxygen sensor data. They do not typically provide direct access to turbo boost readings.

 Advanced OBD2 Scan Tools: Some advanced OBD2 scan tools, often referred to as "professional" or "enhanced" scanners, offer a broader range of capabilities. These tools may have the ability to access specific manufacturer data, including turbo boost levels, but this functionality can be vehicle-dependent.

V. Dedicated Boost Gauges

For those who want to monitor turbo boost levels more comprehensively, dedicated boost gauges are available. These gauges can be installed in your vehicle's interior and provide real-time turbo boost readings, making them a valuable addition for turbocharged engine enthusiasts.


In conclusion, while basic OBD2 scan tools are not designed to directly read turbo boost values, some advanced scan tools may have limited access to this information, depending on the vehicle's make and model. However, for precise and real-time turbo boost monitoring, dedicated boost gauges remain the preferred choice among car enthusiasts. Remember to choose the right tool for your specific needs and always prioritize your vehicle's health and performance.


1. Is it essential to monitor turbo boost levels in my car?

Monitoring turbo boost levels is essential if you want to ensure your turbocharged engine is performing optimally and avoid potential issues.

 2. Can I upgrade my basic OBD2 scan tool to read turbo boost values?

Unfortunately, basic OBD2 scan tools are limited in their capabilities, and upgrading them for this purpose is not feasible.

3. Are there any risks associated with running high turbo boost levels?

Yes, running excessively high turbo boost levels can lead to engine damage and decreased reliability, so it's crucial to monitor and control boost levels.

4. Do all turbocharged cars have the same boost levels?

No, boost levels can vary significantly between different turbocharged vehicles, depending on their design and intended use.

5. Where can I find a reliable boost gauge for my car?

You can find a wide selection of boost gauges at automotive supply stores or online retailers specializing in car accessories.


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