Instructions about how to Use a Car OBD 2 Code Reader

Published: 18th January 2012
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This article is about how to use an OBD 2code reader. Since 2003, many car manufacturers have been equipping their car computers with the Controller Area Network which known as CAN protocol, an improved computer communication system. You can find a few aftermarket On Board Diagnostic second versions tool also known as OBD 2 code readers compatible with this new system. It will help you monitor and retrieve stored error codes from your car's computer memory to diagnose faults related to engine load, fuel pressure, ignition timing and much more. The OBD 2 reader can access the resulting error codes within the car's diagnostic computer, or power train control module. This computerized hand held device can only operate with cars produced after 1996. Earlier cars use older diagnostic systems OBD 1which differ relying on the car manufacturer. To use an OBD 2 scanner to diagnose the trouble of car is very easy, and accessing trouble codes only takes some minutes. The car OBD 2 reader may be fitted with several or multiple features, depending on your particular brand and series.
You'll Need Code reader with CAN support, Small notepad, Pencil, Car service manual
You should find out the 16-pin connector under the dashboard or instrument panel of your car first.
Make sure the ignition key is in the "Off" position and link the cable connector of your OBD code reader to the 16-pin connector. Turn the ignition key to the "On" position but do not power on the car. Power your code reader on and press the "Link" button in your code reader. Relying on your special brand, your reader will notice you that it is retrieving the error codes. Wait for several seconds for the reader to retrieve the error codes from your car's computer.
Read the display screen on your code reader. If the code reader did not find out any codes, it will give you with a message which displays the number zero or "No Codes" message. If the reader found out the error codes, it will show the code in the list. Write down the code you read in a piece of paper by a pen along with any other information given on the screen. The code may read something like this: P0740. It probably also display a small number like "1" or an arrow pointing down, on the upper right-hand corner of the display screen, showing this is the first code in the list. If there are no more codes, you will not see this number or arrow.
To use the scroll-down button scroll down the list of codes or down arrow to go to the next trouble code in the list and write it down. Repeat this step until you reach the end of the trouble codes list.
Press the "Off" button on your code reader to power it off, power off the ignition switch and unplug the code reader from the 16-pin connector.
Look up the error code definitions in your car service manual or the users’ manual for your special code reader, if it comes with it.
Clear the error codes in your computer memory by linking your code reader to the 16-pin connector and turn the ignition switch to the "On" position, once you have serviced your car. Press the "Erase" button or some similar button on your reader. The display on your reader will ask you for confirmation. Press and hold the "Erase" button until you read on your display the message "Done." Then you can remove the code reader and finish. If you have any query, please contact me.


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