OBD2 code reader and why you need it if you want to save money in garage repairs!

When you see a flashing light in your dash panel and take your vehicle to a garage for analysis, all they do is hook up a obd2 code reader and read the fault codes. Then depending on the problem of the engine, a replacement part will be recommended or a suggest a repair which might or not be needed. It will probably take about 30-45 minutes and you will be charged a fee for testing the code (about $40-$100) which roughly is the cost of buying a new obd2 code reader. Remember, at this stage, the problem is not fixed yet?


What about if you buy yourself your own obd2 code reader for the same amount you will pay a garage but do it every number of times, anywhere and anytime at your own convenience? Would this be a smart thing to do? Consider these: when you buy your own obd2 code reader, it will come with a step by step instructions on how to hook it up and read the code causing the engine problem.

The codes are also listed including their description and recommended fixes so you can do the repair yourself. Best of all, it will show you how to reset the code so that you are able to test if the code is temporary or permanent in nature. (the former does not need a repair whereas the last one needs it).

To give you an example, a couple of weeks ago, my dash panel service light was flashing on my 2004 Chevy pick up. After hooking up a obd2 code reader, I got codes P0171 and P0172. P0171 fault code means system lean bank 1 whereas P0172 means system too rich. The engine lacks power but there is no trany shifting problem or trany code indicated. Visual inspection shows no vacuum leak at the hoses and all electrical wires are in place.

Using the code reader, it suggested testing the oxygen sensors for switching voltage at the signal wire and found the 2 upstream oxygen sensors (located at the exhaust manifolds) normal and the one behind the catalytic converter not working. This sensor behind the catalytic converter is used to monitor the converter while the 2 front ones are used to monitor the engine performance. Replacing the rear oxygen sensor fixed the problem and in my estimation, I must haved save between $300-$500 for this vehicle problem alone.

Had I brought this problem to a garage right away, I will be paying more not realizing that reading the code repair itself is worth the cost of the buying a new obd2 code reader.

Looking back, this shows that buying your own obd2 code reader is worth your time and money because it will pay for itself on your first vehicle problem. And even if you cannot fix the code itself but knows what it is, it will show to the garage that you are an alert customer and will not be victimized by them.

Remember, most garage rip offs happen because most customers has no idea what's going on their vehicle especially if they see that your engine is being neglected by you. This is why it is important to have a obd2 code reader so you can monitor your engine at the earliest sign of problem.

Click back to Automotive Tools

Copyright © 2016 ATS Certified Product