Your vehicle’s OBD, or On-Board Diagnostics, is a complex computer system that gathers all of the diagnostic signals throughout your vehicle. This system is designed to monitor your car or truck’s health and alert you when malfunctions occur. Most drivers are familiar with these alerts since they show up directly on the dash. For just about every vehicle, personal or commercial, these OBD systems have become standard and make it easier for mechanics and technicians to diagnose issues. These systems even make keeping up with regular maintenance a breeze.

However, it’s important to remember that your vehicle is a complex machine, and failures can happen at any time. With Autel diagnostic tools from Triad Diagnostic Solutions, you can quickly read various fault codes and pinpoint the exact problem in a matter of seconds. Here are some of the most common OBD fault codes you’ll run into.

History of OBD

The OBD computer systems changed the manufacturing, technician, and diagnostic world starting in the 1980s. During that time, the OBD systems were introduced in response to several economic and environmental issues, including:

  • Emissions Control: This was one of the biggest reasons for introducing OBD. Reducing vehicle emissions became essential, and the OBD systems allowed this by monitoring major engine components and system failures that could increase emissions.
  • Electronic Fuel Injection: Starting in the 1980s, manufacturers began widespread production of vehicles with electronic fuel injection and needed a way to monitor fuel flow. The electronic fuel injection relies on signals from the computer, so it’s essential to have the ability to read these fault codes when something malfunctions.
  • Electronic Components: Once electronic fuel injection gained popularity, manufacturers looked for other ways and components that could be turned into electronic functions. This required a more complex and sophisticated monitoring system to accurately identify issues, hence improving the OBD systems.

Reading Fault Codes

Oxygen Sensor: Code PO171-P0175

Replacing the oxygen sensor is one of the most common problems you’ll run into as a mechanic or technician. The oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring the amount of oxygen in the exhaust and making sure the engine computer can adjust the fuel-to-air mixture. This sensor is crucial in maximizing your fuel economy and minimizing emissions. If a sensor in a vehicle goes bad, then you’ll more than likely notice a decrease in your gas mileage or your car will randomly stall.

Engine Misfire: Code P0300-P0305

As a mechanic, you probably work on engine misfires regularly. A misfiring cylinder can lead you to experience heavy shaking or vibrating while the vehicle idles. Additionally, you’ll notice a decrease in fuel efficiency. The OBD-II system is responsible for tracking the engine misfires, and this is where you’ll find this code. The sensor monitors the crankshaft’s speed and logs a misfire when it detects a slight loss of speed.

Evaporative System: Codes P0411, P0440, P0442, P0446, P0455

Trucks and cars burn a lot of fuel. There is a lot of gas and vapor that needs to be removed from the engine for things to run smoothly. The evaporation system (EVAP) is responsible for containing and eliminating these gas vapors. One of the most common reasons for an EVAP fault code is a loose gas cap. However, there could also be a leak in a vent hose or a problem with the charcoal canister, purge valve, or even pressure vacuum sensor.

Reliable Tools Are What You Need

Triad Diagnostic Solutions is a proud distributor of Autel diagnostic scan tools. Not only is the Autel software reliable, but they are also multi-branded, spanning codes and updates across multiple brands in the automotive industry. You’ll find everything you need in one easy-to-use diagnostic tool. The software is updated regularly, so you’ll never have to worry about falling behind in reading fault codes.

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