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How do you retrieve codes for 1996 F53 without a scan tool

1996 Ford F53 motorhome, want to retrieve trouble codes from OBD1 without a scan tool. I know it can be done but need to know where to plug in a light to count flashes.

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Some fords are under the dash by the steering wheel and others are under the hood close to the fuse box by the wheel well.

Posted on May 09, 2014

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OBD1 Trouble codes, without a scan tool.


Here is a tip for retrieving Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) from any OBD1 GM vehicle. <br /><br />First thing is your going to need to get a paper clip, and bend it into a U shape. <br /><br />Now stick the ends of the paper clip into the 2 top right hand side holes in the connector. Note: Do this with the key in the run position, but with the engine off.<br /><br />You should now see your check engine light flash once, pause, then 2 times. This indicates that your ECM is working properly.<br /><br />Now it will blink indicating your code. For example an EGR failure code is DTC 32. You will see your light blink 3 times, pause, then blink 2 times, giving you code 32.<br /><br />A list of codes can be found here: http://www.gmtuners.com/OBD1_DTC.htm.<br /><br />Hopefully this helps some of you all out there. Thanks for looking.

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You can access them by going to the link, some late 1995 vehicles were OBD2, then you would have a diagnostic connector under the dash below the steering wheel, otherwise you do it under the hood (OBD1). FORD 1983 1995 OBD1 Decoder

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There is no way to display trouble codes without a scan tool of some kind. Being a 1996 it uses OBD II protocol which means you can find a generic scan tool that will retrieve codes at most parts stores. Generally they will scan the codes for you for free. Just be careful about taking the parts persons advice as far as what it will take to fix the problem. Many times a parts person will recommend replacing whatever part the code says but that is often not the correct fix. For instance a code P0171 indicates an oxygen sensor is reading lean so a lot of times people will replace an oxygen sensor for that but it's rarely caused by a bad sensor . Typically it's caused by a vacuum leak or a bad mass air flow sensor or sometimes a weak fuel pump. I guess what I'm getting at is make sure you fully diagnose the vehicle. Knowing the trouble code is just the beginning there can be several causes for any given code.

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1996 started OBD2 Systems

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