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How to Pull Engine Codes From a Harley Davidson

by Chris Gilliland

That little red light on your speedometer usually doesn't have much to say, turning off just as soon as you've noticed it. But sometimes that light stays on, telling your something is wrong when it does. For the mechanically-inclined, this can be an opportunity to determine what's wrong before you take it to your local dealership for repairs.

Creating a Diagnostic Jumper Wire

Cut a short 3-inch piece of wire.

Strip both ends of the wire with wire stripper tool.

Attach a female spade clip to each end of the wire and crimp with a wire stripper tool.

Delphi ECM Testing (2000 - 2003 models)

Remove the right side cover to access the data link connector.

Remove the protective plug from the data link connector.

Connect your jumper wire to the first and second terminal on the data link connector.

Turn the ignition switch on and wait for 10 seconds. The light will turn on for 4 seconds, then off for 6 seconds. After this 6 second interval, any stored trouble codes will appear as sequential flashes.

Count the number of times the lamp flashes; this is the first code. The code will repeat three times before playing the next code, if any, after a 3 second pause.

Record the codes and refer to your service manual for possible faults or conditions.

Turn off the ignition switch and remove the jumper wire.

Replace the right side cover.

Delphi ECM Testing (2004 - 2006 models)

Turn the Ignition switch to the OFF position.

Set the Run/Stop switch to the Run position.

Push in the odometer reset button and hold.

Turn on the ignition switch and release the odometer reset button. The process has been completed correctly when the speedometer needle sweeps across the speedometer and all indicator lamps illuminate. The speedometer will also display "DIAG."

Press the odometer reset button once. "PSSPt" will display on the speedometer. Each letter signifies an area of the diagnostics testing, with the current selection flashing. Push the odometer reset button to scroll through the components for testing.

Press and hold the odometer reset button for 5 seconds, then release. Any codes stored will be displayed on the speedometer. If no codes are stored, the speedometer will display "NONE."

Press the odometer reset button again to view additional codes, if any.

Record the codes and refer to your service manual for possible faults or conditions.

Turn off the Ignition switch to exit the diagnostics testing.


  • Although a service manual is required to determine what a specific trouble code means, many Harley-Davidson forums have code tables available. If you are not confident that you can complete this project, please take your motorcycle to a qualified technician.


  • The engine may start when connecting a jumper wire to the data link connector. This is normal during the diagnostic testing phase. The "check engine light" will continue to flash any existing codes as long as the ignition switch is on and the jumper wire is in place of the data connector link.

Items you will need


About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

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