- OBD2 Scanner (Bluetooth) – I like the iCar3 from Vgate. Click the link to find the best price on ebay.
- Android Smartphone
- OBD2 Scanner App – I like Car Scanner
How to Read OBD2 Codes
Plug your OBD2 Scanner into the OBD2 port in your car
The OBD2 port will be found around the steering wheel area, (check your manual if you can’t find it) and turn on the ignition but not the engine.
Download an OBD2 scanner app.
Again, with the ignition on and the engine off, open the Car Scanner app and connect to the OBD2 scanner you connected to the OBD2 port in step 1 via Bluetooth.
Navigate to the “Diagnostic Trouble Codes” menu in the app and read the OBD2 codes.
Car Scanner will usually give the numeric code for the faults it finds along with a very brief explanation. It also gives a link which will take you to Google if you want more information on the specific OBD2 codes it found.
Note: Car Scanner gives some options with regards to how deep you can scan the car’s modules. If in doubt, use the default settings and read the notes the app gives before changing any settings. In my experience the default settings will highlight the major things. As the app says, be careful if you change the settings from default because it can cause problems with some cars.
Step 6 – Job Done
If you only want to read OBD2 codes you have finished the process.
If you want to clear the check engine codes, the Car Scanner app will give you the option of clearing all codes.
Why & When To Clear The Codes?
The most obvious example I can think of is if you have had a bad battery in the car and the voltage was low, this can cause no end of trouble codes. After charging the battery/fitting a new battery clearing the trouble codes will give you a baseline to know what codes were caused by the low battery voltage and which codes are genuine.
If the codes don’t come back, excellent. If some code/s come back, now is the time for some investigation to find out the cause.