If a sensor meets certain conditions it will set a fault code. All you need is a simple code reader for that. Scanners also display live sensor data and a lot more information. Expect to pay around $100.00 for a good used scanner that will work on '95 and older vehicles but be sure it has the necessary software or cartridge for you car brand.
May, 7, 2012 AT 2:39 AM
Where do you live? Any auto chain stores near you? Some read codes for free.
May, 7, 2012 AT 2:59 AM
IF YOUR CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON, THE COMPUTER NEEDS TO BE SCANNED FOR CODES.....THIS MAY TAKE MUCH OF THE GUESS WORK OUT, PEOPLE TEND TO JUST START THROWING PARTS AT IT, WHEN MAYBE THE PROBLEM COULD HAVE BEEN NARROWED DOWN TO BEGIN WITH.
I DON'T GET IT MYSELF....IF YOU CAN LAUNCH A TITAN MISSILE WITH YOUR CELL PHONE....WHY CANT THEY JUST HAVE A DISPLAY TELLING YOU THE POSSIBLE CAUSES AND POSSIBLE FIXES, RIGHT THERE ON THE DASH, INSTEAD OF "CODE NUMBERS"
THE CODES CAN BE INTERPRETED DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING ON THE CODE AND WHAT OR WHAT NOT YOU VEHICLE IS DOING.....OR EVEN WHOM IS INTERPRETING......SOMETIMES THE CODE AIN'T REAL DEVASTATING, SOMETIMES EVEN THOUGH THE VEHICLE SEEMS FINE---IT COULD BE STUCK IN "CLOSED LOOP" BECAUSE OF A SENSOR ISSUE AND PERFORMANCE AND FUEL EFFICIENCY WILL SUFFER
I'M NOT REAL UP TO PAR ON NEWER STUFF--I DEAL WITH OLDER JEEP CJs AND OLD FORDS---I HAVE RECENTLY HAD TO TRY TO FIGURE THE NEW STUFF OUT, TO KEEP FAMILY AND FRIENDS VEHICLES GOING
FROM MY EXPERIENCE W/ OBD I, YOU CAN BUY A CHEAP SCANNER THAT WILL "BEEP" OR "FLASH A LIGHT" IN CERTAIN SEQUENCES....LIKE 5 BEEPS AND A SPACE AND THEN 2 MORE, MEANS "CODE 52"
THERE IS USUALLY OTHER BEEPS OR FLASHES YOU MUST CONTEND WITH ALONG THE WAY.....SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE "INSTRUCTIONS" AND "PRACTICE" IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL CORRECTLY OBTAIN THE CODE....IT DOES GET EZer ONCE YOU GET THE HANG OF IT.....IF YOU ARE THE "IMPATIENT TYPE" YOU MAY HAVE PROBLEMS!
SHOPS HAVE EXPENSIVE READERS THAT WILL DISPLAY THE CODES WITHOUT THE BEEPS OR LIGHTS......10 YEARS AGO IT COST ME $52 TO HAVE A SHOP GET THE CODES FOR ME----THAT WAS CODES ONLY---I MADE THE REPAIRS MYSELF
I FEEL SURE THAT EVEN A CHEAP VERSION OF WHAT THEY HAD IS GONNA BE EXPENSIVE
YOU MIGHT CALL AROUND AND SEE IF THE PRICE MAY HAVE COME DOWN......GOOD LUCK
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET THE ACTUAL CODE NUMBERS.....NOT WHAT THEY THINK THEY MEAN (BUT GET THAT TOO!)
WITH THE ACTUAL CODE NUMBERS, YOU CAN "GOOGLE" OR FIND A SITE THAT CAN TELL YOU POSSIBLE CAUSES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS (MAYBE LOOK AROUND IN THE SITE 1ST)....IF YOU'LL PUT IN YOUR CODE NUMBERS INTO THEIR SEARCH BOXES, THEY'LL GIVE YOU PRETTY GOOD IDEAS ON WHAT NEEDS SOME ATTENTION
MANY OF THE GUYS ON HERE ARE GOOD W/ INTERPRETATIONS, SO YOU MIGHT TRY US AGAIN, ONCE YOU HAVE THE ACTUAL CODE NUMBERS
JUST TO MAYBE HELP YOU GET MORE IN TUNE WITH YOUR VEHICLE--SEE MY ANSWER IN THIS LINK
As long as you don't listen to people like Richard and buy the wrong one. OBDII didn't exist in 93. You need an OBDI.
It won't tell you everything. The devices that give you real time data from a running engine are a lot more expensive. The $50 scanners only let you read and erase fault codes. And not all bad sensors are interpreted as faults.
Now the obd2 have more function and good to use, you maybe would like to buy a new car, the obd2 support a lots of car product after 1996 and it is cheap for you :
May, 8, 2012 AT 8:36 AM
2003 will be OBD II NOT OBD I
May, 8, 2012 AT 10:00 AM
I guess nobody is reading the question
[quote]The car is a 93 ford explorer.[/Quote]
May, 8, 2012 AT 11:01 AM
I cant figure out why a 2003 audi engine problem is listed fo a 93 explorer code problem? On those all you need is a jumper. Wire and count the flashes on the check engine light. Just find the link to obd code reading on the main page.
May, 8, 2012 AT 11:07 AM
This is EECIII. It doesn't flash codes. It can be done manually with an analog voltmeter but that is a hassle.