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How to Check Engine Light Without a Scanner

You don’t have to rely on your technician or mechanic to keep you updated on the status of your vehicle. There’s no need to be concerned if having an onboard diagnostics (OBD) scanner isn’t on your priority list. With cars that require OBD 1 or OBD 2 scanners, nearly anyone at home can manually resolve codes.

Everyone who owns a car should be able to use an OBD1 or OBD 2 scanner. However, before you buy, make sure to read this guide about the best OBD2 scanner so you can make the right decision.

Even if you know how to use a scanner, you may not always have access to one. That’s why knowing how to check engine codes without using a scanner is also crucial. You’ll learn how you can check engine lights without a scanner in this guide.

The Ignition Key

OBD2 codes can be obtained by using the ignition key. Without cranking the engine, the user merely needs to turn the key on and off. This step may need to be repeated several times, depending on the car. Most vehicles require five turns, although others only require three. Keep the key in the ignition but in the “ON” position to complete the procedure. The operation must be restarted if you accidentally start the engine.

The “check engine” or “service” light on the vehicle’s dashboard must be illuminated following the turns. Each pulse of light corresponds to a certain number. The pause is used in a two-digit code to indicate that one digit has been separated from the next. In this manner, codes will appear on the vehicle’s dashboard; each code represents a unique meaning. The code’s definition, which is usually found in the repair manual, will be about the main problem with the car.

An Odometer

Another method for obtaining OBD2 codes is to use the vehicle’s odometer. The vehicle’s odometer must be depressed by the user. You’ll also need to reset the “reset” and “trip” buttons.

The car’s ignition key must be switched on and off at the same time. You need to end the process with the ignition key turned on. After that, release the odometer’s “reset” and “trip” buttons. After that, the codes will appear on the digital odometer’s display. Your vehicle’s problems will be displayed on the screen.

What do you need to know about checking car codes without using a scanner?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when checking the error codes on your car:

  • The OBD1 or OBD2 code will automatically disappear after your mechanic has resolved the issue or replaced faulty auto parts.
  • It may take several attempts to read flash codes from the check engine light, especially if there are multiple codes.
  • You can always consult a mechanic if you can’t produce or read the code using the odometer or the ignition key.

What does the odometer reset button mean?

An odometer is a device that determines how far your car has traveled. The odometer reset button is the button that is used to reset it back to zero miles. Your car’s model determines where the button is located.

The reset button, for example, is usually found on the left-hand steering wheel lever in Nissan and Honda vehicles. It may be located near the odometer on other vehicle models’ dashboards as well.

Can codes be reset by disconnecting my battery?

No, because ECUs contain internal memory that saves errors even if the power goes out. If you don’t want to pay attention to small problems that make the check engine light come on, then you should check the car regularly to make sure you don’t miss a bigger problem.

Wrapping Up

While there are alternatives to utilizing a scanner to get OBD2 codes, experts recommend having your vehicle evaluated by a specialist. You could also purchase a good OBD 2 scanner to read the codes on your own.

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