How to Get Ford Trouble Codes

by Erin Stewart

The hardest part of fixing a vehicle is often diagnosing what the problem actually is. If you are having trouble figuring out what exactly is wrong with your Ford vehicle, you can use a code reader to get a trouble code from the vehicle's computer. You may not get the specific answer about what is wrong with the vehicle, but you can identify trends to help you diagnose a problem by getting the trouble code.

Rent a code reader at your local auto parts store. Most auto part stores require you to put a certain amount of money down to rent the code reader and will then refund your money when you bring the code reader back.

Plug the code reader into the computer of your vehicle. The code reader will give you a trouble code. Some code readers will give you a brief description of what the code means; other code readers will provide only the trouble code.

Write the trouble code down and use it to diagnose problems with your vehicle.

Go to your local auto parts store and get help looking up what a trouble code means. You can also try entering the trouble code into an Internet search engine and find results that way.

Tip

  • check Ports for code readers on older, fuel-injected codes will be OBD I; newer vehicles will be OBD II.

About the Author

Erin Stewart is a professional editor and copywriter who has served as a newspaper reporter, designer, and news editor, and currently works as part of a dynamic marketing communications team. Erin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an editing minor from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.