How to Check OBD2 Diagnostics on a Toyota Camryby Richard Ristow
If a Toyota Camry was manufactured after 1996, then it will have the second generation of On-Board Diagnostic coding. If it was made before 1996, it will have a different coding system. This is important because an OBD2 scanner will not work on any vehicle predating 1996, and to access the OBD2 codes, you will need a scanner. You can buy a scanner at any major automotive retailer, and using it is fairly simple in terms of time and operation.
Hook the OBD2 scanner up to the Toyota Camry's diagnostic outlet. You will find this below the steering wheel and dashboard.
Power up the diagnostic scanner.
Insert the Camry's key into the ignition and turn. This should activate the Toyota's electrical system. If the fault code does not appear on the scanner's screen, recheck the connection and start the Camry's engine.
Jot the alpha-numeric trouble code on a piece of paper. You will need to copy it verbatim, which means the letters as well as the numbers.
Turn the car and the scanner off. Unplug the scanner.
Go to a website with codes for a Toyota Camry (see Resources). You will have to do this because the Camry's owner manual will not have these code definitions.
Read the code definitions and make a decision on whether or not you need to take the car to a mechanic. Some repair issues are far more complex than others.
Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.