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Trouble Codes

Online Auto Repair Manuals - Trouble Codes

ALLData: Do It Yourself Auto Repair Manuals


Information

What are trouble codes?

Although a check engine light coming on may cue a driver that something is wrong, it doesn’t say what is specifically wrong. That’s where trouble codes come into play. Cars speak a language called On Board Diagnostics, or OBD. When something goes wrong a technician can plug in a code-reading card into the car, and a numeric code identifies what is amiss.

What do trouble codes mean?

To a mechanic, or to anyone else who purchased an OBD code reading card for their car, the codes are produced by information received by the car and are turned into readable codes. The code may mean that some simple maintenance needs to be performed, like adding windshield wiper fluid, or it could be that the code is indicating there is a serious problem.

What are my options?

Owners can purchase an OBD code-reading card for $50 to $200, or the vehicle can be taken to an auto repair shop and/or mechanic to read the card and perform any needed repairs. Numerous websites sell OBD cards, including some major website vendors.


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