That Pesky Check Engine Light and the Code Reader

December 29, 2020 by No Comments

Spending from $45.00 to $100.00 for an OBD2 Code Reader could save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs. Best of all the code readers are easy to use. The OBD2 Code Reader package has an instruction book that tells you how to use the OBD2 Code Reader and definitions for the codes.

When that pesky “check engine” light comes on and you take the car to the repair shop to see what the problem is, the auto mechanic will read the code and tell you that a part needs to be replaced or a repair needs to be done, depending on the code reported, when this is not always the case. The fee that the repair shop charges for this service (attaching their OBD2 code reader to a vehicle to read the code) usually is the price they paid for their OBD2 Code Reader.

Nice deal for the repair shop, every time the auto mechanic reads the code on a customer’s vehicle they get reimbursed the cost of their OBD2 Code Reader. What is wrong with this picture?

As many times as not, a code detected by the on-board computer can be caused by a momentary or temporary situation in the engine, which does not necessarily need repair.

So ask yourself – “Do I want to pay the fee at the repair shop to have them read the code that made my check engine light come on? OR just get my own OBD2 Code Reader – pay for it one time and use it as many times as is necessary and save money?”
Read the instruction book that comes with your OBD2 Code Reader
for complete instructions.

Briefly –> how to use the OBD2 Reader

If your “check engine light” is on, plug the OBD2 qr code reader into the receptacle, typically found under the steering wheel, and refer to the code reader book to find out what the code means. We recommend that you erase the code and if the “check engine” light comes back on within a few days, with the same code then, more than likely, repairs should be done.

Example: Just last week – it happened to us – That pesky “check engine” light came on after I had just filled the gas tank after letting it get down to 4 gallons. We put our code reader on it and the OBD2 gave a code of P0153 – 02 Sensor slow reaction.

When allowing the gas tank to get that low on gas the engine probably picked up some moisture from the bottom of the gas tank. We erased the code and it has not come back on since. If it had NOT been a temporary problem, within a day or two, the “check engine” light would have come back on with the same code.

Had we taken the car to the auto repair shop they would have charged us to read the on-board computer for the code and, possibly, parts and labor for the replacement of the 02 Sensor. We saved approximately $200.00, by having our own OBD2 Code Reader, erasing the code and waiting to see if the “check engine” light came back on.

However, after a week the check engine light has not come back on, telling us that this was a temporary situation and replacement of the 02 Sensor is not required.

When the “check engine” glows red on the dashboard, we make a practice of reading the code, making a note of the code reported and erasing it from the on-board computer. Wait a day or so to make sure the “check engine” light doesn’t glow red at us again which indicates a temporary situation. If the same code returns then we would resolve the situation with whatever repairs are required.

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