Your car’s computer produces a code alongside the check engine light that can indicate the source of a potential issue. Mechanics carrying out the test will typically plug a diagnostic scanner into the car to read these trouble codes and translate them into actionable information.
How do you use a car diagnostic tool?
Read the Car Code(s)
- Turn on the diagnostic tool. Basic tools should have a simple power button somewhere on the unit. …
- Access the diagnostic scanner. Some scanners will automatically start to read the car codes once powered on. …
- Record the data. …
- Optional: Clear the codes.
How long does it take to run a diagnostic on a car?
A standard diagnostic test can take about an hour to an hour and a half. Of course, more complicated issues that require further diagnosis and where components must be removed for access or testing can take 2-3 hours; depending on the severity of the issue or multiple underlying issues.
What can a car code reader tell you?
A car code reader is one of the simplest car diagnostic tools you’ll find. They are designed to interface with a car’s computer and report trouble codes that can trigger check engine lights and other problems.
Does car have to be running to check codes?
Since 1996, all cars are required to have an Onboard Diagnostics 2 (OBD2) system installed. Save time and money by adding an OBD2 scanner to your collection of automotive tools instead of running to the mechanic for diagnostics.
What is the best car diagnostic tool?
Skip to: Best Professional Diagnostic Scanners
- #1 – Autel Scanner MaxiCOM MK808 OBD2 Scanner.
- #2 – LAUNCH CRP129E OBD2 Scan Tool.
- #3 – Actron CP9690 Elite OBD2 AutoScanner.
- #4 – Autel ML629 OBD2 Scanner.
- #5 – BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool.
- #6 – OBDeleven Pro Diagnostic Scan Tool.
- #7 – ANCEL FX2000 Vehicle OBD2 Scanner.
Will AutoZone do a free diagnostic?
If your light is on, and you are wondering why, head down to your local AutoZone where one of our store associates can help diagnose the issue through our free Fix Finder service. As stated before, if you need help from a professional to further diagnose an issue, check out our list of preferred shops in your area.
Should I have to pay a diagnostic fee?
After an appointment, you would never refuse to pay because you didn’t get the results you were looking for. We pay experts for their time, training, and the skills they have acquired—no results are guaranteed. Many customers balk at paying diagnostics fees, especially when it comes to trouble codes.
Do dealerships charge for diagnosis?
Diagnosis. If a repairer spends time providing a detailed diagnosis but you decide not to carry out the repair, the repairer is entitled to charge a fee for the diagnosis.
What is the difference between a code reader and a scanner?
A code reader is a simplified version of a scan tool, but it’s only capable of performing basic scans of trouble codes. A scan tool can read and clear trouble codes, and it may also provide advanced data reading and playback features, knowledge bases, diagnostic procedures, and built-in testing equipment.
Where can I read car codes for free?
If you have a problem with your car and you don’t know what it is, most auto part stores (such as AutoZone, Pep Boys and Advance Auto Parts) will provide a free diagnostic code reading. It is also called an OBD reading.
Is clearing codes bad while driving?
If your main reason for buying an inexpensive scanner is to reset the check-engine light, know this: clearing the code and turning the light off doesn’t mean your issue has gone away. Some check-engine light warnings are temporary—like the aforementioned loose fuel-filler cap or a rare engine misfire.