Free Car Diagnostic Check? It’s Everywhere.

What-check-engine-light -means


If you are driving a vehicle that is manufactured in 1996 or later, you have an edge over pre-1996 vehicles in the form of OBD-II Diagnostic Dashboard. Such vehicles can avail the facility for having a free car diagnostic check, in case, any trouble is observed in the vehicle. It will save you on a lot of money and will help for the betterment of the car or any other vehicle you have. Let’s understand how to come up with a free diagnostic test for an OBD II enabled wheelers.


What The Check Engine Light Means?

The OBD II System keeps a constant eye on the engine’s individual functions. If it detects something fishy in the system, it immediately let the driver knows about the trouble found. It intimidates the driver by turning the yellow-coloured Check Engine Light on. So, whenever you see the light turned on or even blinking, it means your vehicle needs an immediate professional help.


What To Do When The Check Engine Light Illuminates

Now comes the next part. As you know, the Check Engine Light indicates that there is some problem with the vehicle but it doesn’t tell you the exact problem. For that sake, you have to plug an OBD II compatible code reader into the OBD II dashboard so that the found error can be captured as a code.

The confusion doesn’t end here. It’s still an alphanumeric code known as PID that doesn’t help a layman much to know what the problem is. You have to go to the user manual (shipped with a scanner) or browse online to know the meaning of the PID.

Is It Possible To Get A Free Diagnostic Check Near Me?

No matter, whether you possess a code reader or not, the check engine light means your car engine needs an immediate diagnosis. If you are unable to do it yourself, you must approach a professional who may or may not charge you for his service. All you need is the PID code returned by the scanner. You can refer to many sites online to know the details. For example, WikiPedia has an extensive library of such codes.

Of course, you can get a free diagnostic test for check engine light. There are several ways for availing that. Let me guide you on how you can get the engine test without paying a dime:

  • Having A Personal OBD-II scanner and DIY (Do It Yourself): No doubt, investing in a personal OBD II scanner really pays off. It’s just one-time investment and you can diagnose your car for free forever. It helps you to monitor the day to day activities of your vehicle. You can diagnose any malfunctioning much earlier than the actual symptoms appear. In the long run, it increases the life of the vehicle.
    There are many products, available in the market, intended for personal usage that is quite affordable and serves the purpose with great efficiency.

Some popular brands include Autel, Actron, Big Banana, OTC, BlueDriver, etc

You can find our list of code readers and scanners Here

  • Visiting An Auto-Part Store: I am not talking about repairing houses yet but the sellers that deals in the spare parts of the vehicles. Most of them would have an engine code scanner. As they are focused around selling the parts, a majority of owners do not mind letting you the scanner and diagnosing the engine.
    They are not the seasoned mechanics but experienced enough to advise you if the found problem is a minor or major. If there is some major issue, you can get a fair idea of how much will it cost if a repairing house advises changing the part.


  • Taking Help From Local Mechanic: You can even approach a repairing house, and a seasoned mechanic can give you a free diagnostic check. In today’s competitive business scenario, a repairing house doesn’t mind offering a free check. You will waive the charges if you opt for availing their remodeling service.
    Obviously, it is the best option, as a seasoned mechanic looks into the trouble and is better at tracing the problem. He is the best guy for providing you with all the details about the problem with the engine, its causes, solutions, and consequences, if not repaired.

  • Seeking A Dealer: If your car is in warranty period and some error occurs, you can take it to the particular dealer from where you have purchased the vehicle. The dealers have the most expensive and advanced scanning equipment to figure out the complicated and deep-rooted problems in the engine.
    Their tools are regularly updated so they can literally trace any known problem in your vehicle. Moreover, they can’t charge you. Even if your vehicle is out of warranty period, you can still approach them as to retain the customer they might avoid charging you for a formal engine diagnostic.

What’s Best: A Repair House vs. A Dealer vs. DIY

For me, its right to visit a repair house as they are authorised and certified auto mechanics with advanced scanning tools. They make a definitive diagnosis and figuring out the nature of the trouble, its causes, and possible solutions. So, their diagnosis is endorsed with much authenticity.

On the other hand, DIY solution is viable, if you want to keep a day-to-day check on your vehicle and knows how to fix the standard or basic errors in the engine. But to cope with some major issues, keep yourself prepared to visit a professional and to pour some money out of your wallet.

Final Advice

So far, you know a few ways to how to get a free diagnostic check for your engine. So, which route should you go? I must say if you have one car, and you can choose to visit some dealer. Find an AutoZone in your vicinity and you will see many of the owners there are offering a free diagnostic check. If you have multiple vehicles and, moreover, want to monitor them frequently, you must buy a suitable engine code scanner. Hope that helped.

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