Tip & How-To about Honda Civic

How to use an On Board Diagnostic (OBD II) scanner tool

When your orange check engine light comes on and stays lit inside your instrument cluster the best thing to do is find out why it has come on and what part you will need to replace on your vehicle. Using an OBD II scanner tool is the first thing you should do before you start to repair or spend any money on your vehicle. The best thing about using this electronic tool is there is no charge to use it! Most major auto parts stores carry a "loaner" that you can borrow for free and use right outside in there parking lot. So after you drive to the auto parts store and borrow the tool from the store employee, head back to your vehicle and open up your drivers side door. After you open the door, get on your knees and locate the access port underneath the drivers side steering wheel. This port looks like the old printer cable serial ports found on ink jet printers before everything switched over to the USB cable. Connect the black cable to and then turn your vehicle on. After your vehicle starts and is running, turn the power button on the scan tool. Press the ok button and the tool will began to communicate with your vehicles ECM (vehicle computer) After a minute has passed, some numbers will show up on the scan tool screen. Write these numbers down (there may be more then one set of error code letters and numbers displayed) Now that you have the numbers, clear the vehicle computer using the tools options. Your check engine light will go off and stay off but will come back on if you don't fix the problem, Before you drive away, go back inside and return the tool to the clerk. Now look inside the store for a Haynes repair manual and find the make and model of your vehicle. Inside the back of this manual is a list of trouble code numbers and what each number stands for in relation to the part that has failed on your vehicle. Now that you know what component has failed, you can eliminate the guess work and order the correct part without spending lots of money buying the parts you don't need. Another thing is you just saved $50 or more on labor charges that a repair shop would charge you to find out the same information you just learned for free!

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