OBD Fault Codes – An Introduction
Vehicles get constant and continual use, being driven thousands of miles a year and more. Every single part of the car receives wear and tear on a daily basis. Sooner or later, something is going to need to be replaced or worked on.
Face it; parts wear out. On-board diagnostics or OBD, fault codes are used to determine exactly which part is no longer working on a given vehicle. There are OBD fault codes for basically everything on a car from one end to another. It is linked to the vehicle’s capability to self-diagnose and report it’s findings. In other words, the car can tell you what’s wrong with itself, and this system can work for you.
The vehicle’s OBD system consists of the manufacturer’s specific code system. When this system was first implemented, this meant that the code was specific to that particular brand of the car.
Each vehicle uses a language unique to its manufacturer. It made it harder for mechanics to diagnose problems quickly and correctly since they weren’t familiar with some of the codes.
If they had to look through thousands of codes every time, they would lose a lot of time they could have been working on fixing the problem. Since it also made it harder to track standardized restrictions on vehicles, such as emissions, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) pushed to have more standardized codes that would be the same no matter what the make and model of the vehicle was.
Generic codes are standardized and can be used in car brands all across the spectrum.
These would make it easier for solving common problems that appear in all brands of vehicles. Because they are the same in all brands, they would become easily recognized. Additionally, standardized codes would make it easier to maintain restrictions on all brands. It was the primary aim of the SAE. It would also make it easier of mechanics who don’t own a garage but still want to maintain their cars.
With the standardization of fault codes used in addition to the OBD-II diagnostic system, figuring out what’s wrong with a vehicle has not only become easier to determine but has also become rather uniform.
The OBD II enabled the use of the standardized codes and made it easier to diagnose problems across the entire scope of brands. These codes are made to display a warning on the OBD’s screen. When a potential problem is detected, the malfunction indicator light (MIL) is illuminated, and the problem is determined. How much easier could it get? It makes it easy to keep an eye on your car’s maintenance at any time.
The standardized codes that are fed into the OBD computer memory are entered as data trouble codes or DTCs. Each manufacturer’s specific and generic codes all have a distinctive and different meaning. Some of the manufacturer’s specific codes seen on the OBD screen include the following:
• DTC p0176-p0199 represents the airflow system, pressure functions, temperature functions, and the circuits.
• DTC p0200-p0299 represents car fuel consumption and regulation, both important in helping
regulate the fuel economy
• DTC p0300-p0399 concerns the car’s emission controls, checking exhaust gas circulation.
• DTC p0500-p0599 affects speed control, air control, idling checks, starters, and the immobilization keys.
• DTC p0700-p0899 concerns vehicle transmission system, range sensors, and electrical relay systems.
• DTC p0600-p0699 represents the car’s engine computer system.
Generic diagnostic codes have aided the process of car diagnostic scan in using a great deal. There are millions of generic codes, but here’s a few we could get out hands on:
• P2000 Series– concerns powertrain areas, usually advanced codes with diverse manifold readings, and specific diesel filter efficiency codes
• P3000 Series– involves power train malfunctions and controls intake valves
The diversification of the OBD fault codes results in there being a large number of codes. So large, in fact, that scanning may not solve anything if not done with the proper OBD tool.
With the use of such a device, the correction process of a car’s issues becomes much easier. The on-board diagnostics is an installed system which works on its own when connected. Having the data displayed right there on the screen is worth the effort.