If your car or truck has the dreaded check engine light come on, there are Do-It-Yourself scanner tools that can show the problem.
All cars and trucks built after 1995 come with a built-in port called an OBDII.
The OBDII port talks directly to the vehicle’s computer and, when used with an OBDIi scan tool, displays the engine’s problem.
The OBDII port and scan codes are universal across all vehicles, so the same P0102 code (Mass Airflow Sensor) on a Dodge will be the same problem on a Toyota.
Most all OBD ports are located under the dashboard on the driver side and simply need a scanner tool to plug into the connector and decode the codes.
There are many scan tools available, from low cost to expensive units.
For example, the low-cost unit Actron CP9125 PocketScan Code Reader is a good tool for the beginner novice.
It is an all-in-one unit that can read codes and clear them from almost any vehicle built after 1996.
Read Full Review Here On the Actron CP9125 PocketScan Code Reader.
There are also Bluetooth scan tools available that work in combination with a smartphone or laptop and display codes.
These small Bluetooth OBD2 Dongles are good for occasional use and are very low-cost.
A Bluetooth unit can pair with a smartphone and with an app to read and clear engine codes.
They are also very low cost making them very good units for the average owner looking to troubleshot why the engine light is on.
Finding out the meaning of a check engine light is an easy do-it-yourself task that most anyone can do.
A scanner tool will be needed, with many options available depending on your budget.
If you are on a very low budget, keep in mind many auto part stores will run a scan of your vehicle for free.
Be sure to call your local auto part store to be sure, but most likely, they will offer some assistance.
Bluetooth scanner dongles are very popular since they are very low-cost (Often Less than $15 dollars) and, when paired to a smartphone or laptop, can show the problem with any car or truck.
As always, before buying any OBDII scan tool, be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure it is the right fit for you.