Assuming the check engine light is on in the first place, there are a few ways to find out what the codes mean without using a scanner. One way is to simply look up the codes online using a search engine like Google. Oftentimes, these engines will bring up results from websites like CarMD or Autozone that can tell you what the code means.
Another way is to ask someone at an auto parts store or a mechanic. They may be able to tell you what the code(s) mean without having to use a scanner themselves.
Check engine light code without OBD scanner
- Start the car and turn on the engine
- Locate the check engine light on the dash
- It may be labeled as “Service Engine Soon” or “Check Engine
- Observe the check engine light
- If it is solid, that means there is a current problem with your vehicle
- If it is flashing, that means there is an imminent problem that needs to be addressed immediately
- Note the color of the check engine light
- A solid yellow light indicates a less serious problem, while a red or orange light indicates a more serious issue
- Look for other lights on the dash that may accompany the check engine light, such as a low oil pressure warning or battery charge warning
- These can help you diagnose the cause of the check engine light code without a scanner
What is the Easiest Way to Check Engine Light Codes Without a Scanner
Assuming you have a 1996 or newer vehicle, the easiest way to check your engine light codes without a scanner is to use the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port. This is typically located under the dash on the driver’s side. Once you’ve located it, you can insert a code reader or OBD-II scanner into the port and read the codes that are causing your engine light to come on.
Keep in mind that some code readers will only read basic codes while others will provide more detailed information. If your vehicle is older than 1996, you’ll need to use a scan tool that plugs into your car’s diagnostic system through its data link connector.
How Can I Save Money by Checking Engine Light Codes Myself
Checking your engine codes yourself is a great way to save money on car repairs. By knowing what the code means, you can often diagnose and fix the problem without having to take your car to a mechanic.
There are a few different ways that you can check your engine codes.
One is to use an OBD-II scanner, which you can purchase at most auto parts stores. This will give you a readout of any codes that are stored in your car’s computer. Another way to check engine codes is to look for the “check engine” light on your dash.
If this light is lit up, it means that there is a code stored in your car’s computer. You can usually find out what the code is by consulting your owner’s manual or an online database of OBD-II codes. Once you know what the code means, you can often fix the problem yourself without having to take your car to a mechanic.
However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s always best to consult with a professional before attempting any repairs.
What are Some Common Causes of Engine Light Code Failures
There are many different reasons that your engine light may come on, but there are a few common causes of engine light code failures. One of the most common reasons is a loose or damaged gas cap. If your gas cap is not tight or is damaged, it can cause your engine light to come on.
Another common reason for an engine light to come on is a faulty oxygen sensor. Oxygen sensors are used to help regulate the air/fuel mixture in your engine and if they are not working properly, it can cause your engine light to come on. Lastly, a clogged or dirty air filter can also cause your engine light to come on.
If your air filter is dirty or clogged, it can restrict the airflow to your engine and cause your engine light to come on.
If your check engine light is on, you may be able to figure out the problem without a scanner. First, try to find the OBD-II port, which is usually located under the dash near the steering column. Once you’ve found it, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “On” position but don’t start the engine.
Next, press and hold down the button on your OBD-II reader for a few seconds. The reader will then display any codes that are stored in your car’s computer system. If you’re not sure what these codes mean, you can look them up online or in a repair manual.