Finding a warning sign on your car's dashboard could be intimidating for most drivers. If you are not aware of the real issue with the vehicle, you’ll likely worry a lot when the check engine light turns on. There is a shortcut to not going to your mechanic to find the issues in your car. Get a code reader or OBD2 scanner that will pull out error codes.
For frequent car users, mechanics, or business owners with multiple vehicles, reading and interpreting OBD2 codes is something you need on your sleeve. What do you do when the Check Engine light appears on your engine? Here we will show you how to read code errors for your vehicle.
Reading OBD2 Codes
If the check engine light pops while driving, running scans is the only way to discover what could be happening to your car. How to Use a Code Reader on My Car? The first thing to look for is where your car's onboard computer system is located. Once you find it, plug in your scanner and check out what could be happening with this computer system.
If you fail to locate the OBD2 port, you can find where it’s located online. The web contains information about where manufacturers install the OBD2 ports into their vehicle models. The car owners will know exactly where to find the port, whether under the dash, the steering column, or the center console.
At this point, the OBD2 scanner is your best friend. Where to Buy OBD2 Scanner? The scanner can be handheld or a Bluetooth module with a 16-trapezoidal connector. The tool transmits codes from the vehicle’s computer and can explain the codes depending on its level. You can find these tools on Ancel’s website, from a budget-friendly one to a high-level tool that does them all.
Meaning of OBD Code
OBD stands for Onboard Diagnostics. It allows you to check the health of your car and is available on most modern vehicles. If the check engine light shows on the dash screen, there is something wrong with your vehicle’s system, either in the engine, the body, or the chassis. Even a low tire pressure can trigger a check engine light. OBD2 codes are saved in the computer to direct you to which area of the system could be having a problem.
The OBD code is a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that can be used to communicate about what could be happening to your car’s systems. The first character is a letter that indicates the affected system in your car. For example: if you see an "E" in your code, there is a problem with the engine management system. The second symbol is a digit, which indicates whether the problem is generic or manufacturer-specific.
OBD codes end with three digits which direct you to the exact issue in the system. To understand the precise meaning of the codes, you’ll have to rely on the internet, depending on your scanner type. If you are using a Bluetooth-enabled scanner connected to your phone, the Ancel app will explain the codes, and you can also contact the customer service agent through the app to explain the codes. If you have a budget scanner, you must Google the codes' meanings. A mid-range scanner will briefly explain what the scanned codes mean, while a more advanced one will give some deeper explanations.
The first number represents what kind of fault has occurred; for example, if it says "P0304," this means that there is a problem with the fuel pump. The second number represents the fault diagnosed; for example, if it says "0161," this means that there is a problem with one of the sensors or wiring in your vehicle.
How to Insert The OBD2 Scanner and Read the OBD Codes
If you have a newer vehicle, it will have an OBD2 port. This port is under the hood and connected to an ECU (electronic control unit). The ECU has electronic sensors that monitor everything from airflow to fuel consumption and emissions levels. When there are problems with one of these systems, the sensors relay information to the ECU, which you can only find out with a code reader.
To read an OBD code, you need a scanner.What is OBD2 Scanner? A scanner is a device that can read codes from your vehicle's computer and display them on its screen. The most common scanners are handheld devices or Bluetooth-enabled modules that can be used with your smartphone or tablet but don’t work with your computer. Some Ancel scanners come with their own tablets and a pre-installed Ancel app and TeamViewer app to help you out whenever you are stuck.
First, connect the device to the vehicle's diagnostic port through the OBD2 scanner that came with the scanner. If you are using a module, plug it into the port, Then turn on the ignition, and the screen of the scanner will turn on with a welcoming note. If you use a module, turn Bluetooth on your phone and connect it to the tool. The scanner will ask for your car’s VIN of your car, model, and engine type. A more advanced scanner will be able to detect this information.
Usually, the car is supposed to be in idle mode when reading these codes. Some scanners have their own battery power, allowing them to scan your car when it has a battery issue.
Car error codes may appear in four-letter modes;
- P represents the powertrain code. These are the engine or the car’s sensors present transmission codes.
- B represents body codes. The code shows the vehicle issue is a malfunction associated with an outer part like airbags.
- C shows the chassis code. Anti-lock brakes challenges will appear this way.
- U letter represents any network codes arising from things like lack of communication.
The check engine light should not give you sleepless nights when you have your own code reader. With this tool, you’ll be able to detect the issues in your car before it gets to the mech. In case you haven’t had the luck of owning a scanner, Ancel has your back. Check out our website, and you’ll find one that works for you.
What is the purpose of reading OBD2 codes in a car?
Reading OBD2 codes helps identify issues with a vehicle's systems.
How can you find the meaning of OBD codes?
You can find the meaning of OBD codes by using the internet or an app compatible with your scanner.
What do the letters in OBD codes indicate?
The letters in OBD codes indicate the affected system in the car, such as the engine or body.