Get to know your vehicle and maintain key components with a free engine check. Whether your check engine light came on or you haven’t had your vehicle inspected in some time, explore the benefits of a DIY or professional engine check today. Learn how to check an engine, what size windshield wipers do I need and where to turn for affordable maintenance parts.
How You Can Check Your Own Engine Light With Your Own OBD Reader
The easiest way to check your own engine is with an OBD-II scanner. These helpful devices are available to purchase or use for free at your local auto parts store. Connect a reader to your vehicle for a free check engine light check.
First, be sure you safely prepare your vehicle. You may need to open your engine compartment or use a connection point on the driver’s side of the dash. A clear workplace helps you find the source of the issue. Park your vehicle on flat, secure ground, turn off the engine and prepare to check the warning light error code.
Connect a scan tool to the data link connector in your vehicle. Use your service manual to find the location of this connector. The best place to check is next to the steering column. It should be a 16-pin rectangular connector.
Once your device is securely connected to the data link connector, turn on the ignition without starting your vehicle. This turns the electrical system on and allows you to read the error code without firing up your engine. A keyless starting system requires you to push the start button twice without pressing the brake pedal.
Check your scanning tool for a message. This message may have a short phrase or simply a number. Use this information, along with the make, model and year of your vehicle, to narrow the search for a check engine light illumination or other issue.
The Most Common Issue That Come up When a Check Engine Light Is on
Whether you use a scanning tool or not, there are a few common issues to review if your check engine light turns on. Consider searching for these issues to restore your vehicle’s fuel economy and prevent additional damage:
- Fuel vapor leak
- Malfunctioning sensors
- Spark plug damage
A fuel vapor leak is most commonly caused by a loose gas cap. Your gasoline cap prevents vapors from escaping, which can harm your health, the environment and your fuel economy. Try turning the cap to see if this removes the warning light.
Other common issues are related to key sensors in your air/fuel system. Mass air flow and oxygen sensors measure the balance of air and fuel to determine the necessary amount of fuel to inject. Check to see if your error code points to one of these sensors and clean or replace it for fully restored performance.
Turn to your local auto parts store for more information about OBD-II scanning tools. Use a comprehensive parts selection system to find the exact size of wiper blades and other replacement parts to clear this warning signal.