How to Read Codes in Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

You can save yourself time and money by reading your Vehicles codes right from your home garage. The Vehicles comes with an On Board Diagnostics (OBD) computer that reads and stores the trouble codes sent to it from sensors positioned throughout the Vehicles. These codes can be read right from the Vehicles itself, without the use of a scan tool. After you read the codes, you should have the Vehicles repaired by a qualified mechanic. After the repairs have been completed, you can erase the codes. This will shut off the service and warning lights.

Under The Hood:

 How to Read Codes for a 2006 GMC Duramax

Plug the OBD-II scanner or equivalent computer diagnostic scanner into the port at the bottom of the dashboard. The scanner port is a triangular-shaped port that matches the male end of the scanner plug.

Turn the engine key to the "Accessories" position. Turn the power on for the code reader.

Press the "Read" button on the scanner. Read all of the codes and write them down. Make sure you write down pertinent information that the code reader gives you. Some code readers give a definition of the code, and others give you a definition and location of the source problem.

Turn the ignition key off. Remove the scanner from the truck.

Items you will need

  • OBD-II code reader (CAN-compatible)

 How to Read Codes in a Toyota 4 Runner

Find the datalink connector under the driver's side dashboard, to the right of the steering wheel. Plug the OBD II reader into the datalink connector.

Put the key into the 4 Runner's ignition and turn it to the "On" position, but don't start the vehicle.

Select the "Read Codes" command or similar type of command. Write down the numerical codes. Look the codes up in the reader's manual for an exact description of the problem.

Unplug the OBD II reader from the datalink connector. Turn the ignition key to the "off" position. Take your Toyota to a mechanic to have repairs completed.

Items you will need

  • Ignition key

  • OBD II reader with manual

 How to Read Codes in a PT Cruiser

Insert your key into the ignition and turn it to the “run” position, and then “off.” Do this twice within five seconds. The trouble codes will show up on the instrument panel next to the odometer.

Look up the code number in a PT Cruiser repair manual (see Resources section, below.)

Take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic to have it repaired.

Items you will need

  • Ignition key

  • Pen

  • Paper

  • PT Cruiser repair manual

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