I have a harbor freight OBD2 scanner which was left out in the rain. I have shaken it out and dried it thoroughly. Assuming it still works at all, is there any way I could damage my car by using it to scan codes? It was only 60 dollars so I can throw it away if I need to but I'd rather try to use it if there's no damage that could occur from shorted contacts.

  • Describe “dried it thoroughly”.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 16:06
  • There was water on the inside. Now it is completely dry, but possibly corroded. I haven't opened it up.
    – Henry Ford
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 0:33
  • Dear Mister Ford: open up the scanner then clean any white deposits (and anything else) with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Let it fully dry, then re-assemble. As a precaution you could test it with a lesser vehicle before trying it on your Mighty Ford.
    – John Canon
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Since there is essentially no limit on the damage caused to the device in your question, the answer is yes it's conceivable that it could damage the vehicle.

Is it likely? Probably not and I'll note that OBD2 circuitry is designed to be resilient but it's not implausible.

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