What Does INC Mean On The Obd2 Scanner?

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In the world of automotive diagnostics, an OBD2 scanner serves as an invaluable tool for identifying and deciphering potential issues within a vehicle’s onboard systems. When utilizing this powerful device, encountering various codes and messages is not uncommon.

One such code that might puzzle many users is “INC.” By reading this article, you’ll know about what inc mean on the obd2 scanner. We’ll explore its meaning, and the potential reasons for its display, and provide troubleshooting steps to address this enigmatic code effectively.

Explaining “INC” on OBD2 Scanner 

inc mean on the obd2 scanner

If you’re using a code reader and it shows “INC” code, it means that the device can’t connect to the computer of your car. This generally might indicate problem with the OBD-II port on the car or with the code reader.

Specifically, a “INC” code refers to the problem of the data being read by the reader is not complete or not consistent.

Possible Reasons for “INC” Display

While the appearance of “INC” code might refer to the incompletion or inconsistency of read data,  there are some different possible reasons. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • A. Insufficient Data for Code Retrieval
  • One common reason for encountering “INC” on the OBD2 scanner is the lack of sufficient data to generate a complete trouble code. Certain diagnostic conditions may demand more comprehensive information, which the vehicle might not have provided during the scanning process. This situation could occur if the issue is intermittent or if the vehicle’s onboard systems haven’t fully recorded relevant data.
  • B. Incomplete Diagnostic Process
  • Another factor contributing to the “INC” message could be an incomplete diagnostic process. Sometimes, when the scanning procedure is interrupted prematurely or if specific steps are not followed accurately, the scanner might fail to gather all the required data to form a conclusive code.
  • C. Unavailable or Unsupported System/Module
  • Modern vehicles are equipped with an array of sophisticated systems and modules, each contributing crucial data to the OBD2 scanner. However, in some instances, certain systems or modules might not be supported by the scanner, rendering it unable to retrieve the necessary information. Consequently, the scanner displays the “INC” message as a signal of its inability to access specific data points.
  • D. Potential Issues with the Scanner or Vehicle
  • The appearance of “INC” on the OBD2 scanner could also be signs of potential issues with either the scanner itself or the vehicle being diagnosed. Technical glitches, outdated scanner software, or compatibility problems might hinder the complete scanning process, leading to the display of the enigmatic “INC” message.

Troubleshooting Steps for “INC” Message
inc mean on the obd2 scanner

If you’re encountering “INC”message, there are some troubleshoots you can do to either identify and/or solve the actual problems before you go to a mechanic. Please follow these steps:

  • A. Check for Proper Connection and Scanner Compatibility
  • The first step in troubleshooting the “INC” message is to ensure a proper and secure connection between the OBD2 scanner and the vehicle’s diagnostic port. Double-check all connections and ensure they are not loose or damaged. Additionally, verify that the scanner is compatible with the vehicle’s make and model.
  • B. Verify Vehicle Readiness Status
  • For the OBD2 scanner to retrieve complete data, the vehicle must be in a state of readiness. This means that the onboard systems have completed their self-tests and are prepared to transmit data.
  • If the vehicle is not in a ready state, it might be necessary to perform specific drive cycles or wait until the systems are ready before rescanning.
  • C. Ensure All Necessary Systems/Modules Are Supported
  • Confirm that the OBD2 scanner is capable of accessing data from all relevant systems and modules in the vehicle. Some scanners might lack compatibility with specific systems, leading to incomplete data retrieval and the display of the “INC” message.
  • D. Perform a Complete Diagnostic Scan
  • If the previous steps have been carefully followed and the “INC” message persists, try conducting a full diagnostic scan. This comprehensive scan might reveal additional codes or data that were not captured during the initial partial scan, shedding light on the root cause of the “INC” message.


Additional Considerations

If the troubleshooting steps above doesn’t solve your problems with “INC” message, please follow the manual and seek professional help if you meet a dead end.

  • A. Consulting the Scanner’s User Manual
  • The user manual that accompanies the OBD2 scanner can be an invaluable resource in deciphering and troubleshooting error messages like “INC.” It might provide specific guidance on dealing with this particular message and offer insights into the scanner’s capabilities and limitations.
  • B. Seeking Professional Assistance if Issues Persist
  • If all efforts to resolve the “INC” message meet a dead end, seeking professional assistance from a qualified mechanic or automotive technician is highly recommended.
  • These experts possess the expertise and advanced tools to conduct in-depth diagnostics, ensuring a precise diagnosis and resolution of the underlying issue.


Encountering the “INC” message on an OBD2 scanner can indeed perplex even the most seasoned car owners and mechanics. However, armed with the knowledge gained from this guide, you can now approach the situation with confidence.

By understanding the potential reasons for the “INC” display and following the troubleshooting steps, you’ll be well-equipped to address this mysterious code effectively. Whenever the troubleshoots don’t work, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.