The engine code reader is the right tool for the job when you need a tool that can read diagnostic trouble codes. The device is common in car repair shops. Today, code readers and scan tools are affordable, and any car owner and DIYer can easily access them.
If you recently bought an engine code reader, you’re probably wondering how to use it. We’ll show you where to plug in the engine code reader and use it to pull the codes and learn about your car’s health.
What’s a Code Reader
A car coder reader is the same as an OBD2 scanner. It reads out fault codes in your car. Those codes are the same mechanics read whenever you take your vehicle to them. They run their readings with their pro code readers. It also erases old diagnostic trouble codes from your car.
As a car owner, you have seen the check engine light several times. It signifies that you need to make a date with your mechanic. It would be best to know your car's issue before going to your mechanic. Some of these issues you can resolve them by your own at home. They only require minor services. A code reader will help you know the fault codes so that you repair the right thing.
Where Do You Plug the Engine Code Reader
For the code reader to show results, you must access your car's computer. The computer has sensors connected to every part of the car. These sensors relay information about faulty areas in your engine in the form of codes which you can read through your engine code reader. By now, you could be wondering how!
Usually, the computer has a female 16-pin port situated somewhere under the dashboard on the driver’s side in most cars. In other cars, the port can be located on the passenger side or at the center of the dash. The port, known as the OBD2 port, is where you plug in the engine code reader. After doing that, the code reader displays all the error codes from your engine. The codes will indicate every issue that triggered the check engine light in your car.
If you ignore the check engine light for an extended period, problems in your engine might pile up. If you keep postponing, the issues will be so severe that you’ll need a tow truck to take your vehicle to your mechanic. To avoid this kind of trouble, you need an engine code reader. It will help you determine the problem's severity and how sooner you should take your car to the mechanic.
The code reader might be an affordable tool costing less than $100, but it can save you up to $3000 annually. It helps by letting you know the problems under your hood earlier and having enough time to act accordingly and protect your car’s engine and components.
What Does a Check-Engine Light Mean
The check engine light means something might not be correct even though your car is driving okay. However, the alert shows in different ways, and when the problem is severe, it will show you just that, and you should tow your car to our mechanic. Here are some of the signs.
- Steady yellow or orange:The car is in drivable condition, and you don’t need to stop driving it immediately. It could be a minor problem that needs to be checked ASAP. You should not ignore it until it develops into a bigger problem. It could be simple, like a loose gas cap or lower tire pressure. The good thing is that you can resolve minor issues like these if you have an engine code reader.
- Flashing:Though it’s rare, the check engine light might start flashing. If it does so, the problem is severe, and the worst would happen if you continued to drive the car. It could lead to severe damage, for instance, engine damage. To prevent that from happening, pull the car over, call for a tow truck, and take the car to the mechanic.
What to Factor in When Choosing an Engine Code Reader
When choosing the right engine code reader, you don’t need to worry about the price alone. You should find out whether a particular code reader meets your needs. The least expensive reader will pull out codes, and you’ll have to search the internet to find what they mean. But if you go for the expensive option, it will show you the trouble codes and what they mean.
Here are two factors to consider when picking an engine code reader.
Readers with Cables or Bluetooth Enabled
Professional code readers come with thick cables, handheld, and LCD screens, and buttons under the screens. The buttons are used to navigate through the trouble codes. Some handheld code readers are affordable and accessible to anyone who would want to read codes in their cars.
Alternatively, you can get a Bluetooth-enabled code reader, a module that you plug into the OBD2 port. These types can be carried anywhere, from the pocket to the compartments in your car. When you need to read codes, connect it to your phone and open the respective app.
One of the biggest concerns when buying an engine code reader is whether it’s compatible with your car. Even though the OBD2 was rolled out with the 1996 vehicles, most code readers today work with cars manufactured in the 21st century. Luckily, most Ancel code readers are compatible with popular car brands from America, Asia, and Europe.
If you’re buying a Bluetooth scanner or code reader, ensure it’s compatible with iOS and Android. Some support only one OS. This gives you an upper hand when you want to use different devices.
Once you know where the OBD2 port is situated and plug in your engine code reader, everything else will be simple. The next time you do it, you’ll have mastered the process and be able to read codes in no time. If you own an Audi, Skoda, VW, or Seat, the Ancel VD700 is the engine code scanner for your needs. It performs all the essential code-reading functions for the VW car group.