Sunday, October 30, 2016

Why Everyone Needs An OBD Reader

The Check Engine light came on in my wife's TrailBlazer.  I checked the usual cause: loose gas cap, but that wasn't the problem.  The OBD reader reported P0128 - Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature.  Not surprisingly, this can be a bad thermostat, but also not enough coolant.  The coolant recovery container was just below the cool fill line, so I added some coolant. My wife drove away and reports the light is off.  I did not even need to reset the error code.  That saved an unnecessary trip to the Chevy dealer and a couple hours of time.

Actually, I did need to reset the error code.  How to do so wasn't obvious.  The manual is here.


Will said...

A group that does scanner software (free) for Ford type vehicles ( warns people away from the cheap Chinese clone scanners. Those $12 items tend to have eratic operation, and may not be able to perform all operations needed to do diagnostic and control functions.

I bought the OBDLink SX
from Amazon a few months back, (which comes with it's own company's software). I got the usb type, to plug into a laptop. You can get them in wifi or bluetooth, to use tablets or phones.

The usb types cost less, near 1/2 the price of the radio connected ones, and works faster, but you have to deal with that cable coming out below the steering column in most vehicles.

Units with their own little bitty screen are outdated.

Gladorn said...

One of the biggest scams in car maintenance is the "code" that you have to take to the dealer to reset. Growing up, I was taught to do most of the maintennance on my own car. But it kills me when I have to drop $50 to turn off a dang light on my dashboard because some screw head decided that their dealers could make an extra buck that way.

Not all error codes are like that, but some new cars do have this "bug." (It's not a feature.)

Clayton Cramer said...

The OBD reader will let me reset codes.