The error code system in a car allows the car owner or mechanic to troubleshoot and diagnose what is wrong with the vehicle. There are two methods of obtaining and reading a vehicle's error codes, depending on the tool you have and the year in which your car was manufactured. Cars manufactured after 1996 can use either an OBD II Scan Tool to obtain an OBDII code or an SCS Service Connector Tool to obtain the MIL code, while cars manufactured prior to 1996 only have the SCS Service Connector Tool option. Once the codes have been obtained, however, reading and understanding Honda error codes is a simple task.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- OBD II Scan Tool
- SCS Service Connector Tool
Install the OBD II Scan Tool software onto the computer. Each software and scan tool is different, so follow the instructions that came with your specific product. Launch the program once it is finished installing.
Locate the vehicle's 16-pin data link connector. For most Honda vehicles, the DLC is located beneath the glove compartment, but some vehicles have the DLC located under the driver's side of the instrument panel, under the passenger's side of the instrument panel, or on, around or in the centre compartment. See the documentation that came with your vehicle for its specific DLC location.
Connect the 16-pin connector on the OBD II Scan Tool to the vehicle's DLC port. Connect the other end of the scan tool to one of the USB ports on the computer. Turn the vehicle's ignition to the "On" position.
Click the "Scan" or "Obtain Codes" button on the scan tool software's interface. The exact method of scanning for error codes may vary between different software programs, so see the documentation that came with your product for specific details. Write down the OBDII error code that appears on the computer screen for future reference. An example error code is "P0560."
Obtaining the Codes With an OBD II Scan Tool
Locate the vehicle's two-pin SCS check connector. For many Honda vehicles, this connector is located under the passenger side of the dashboard. Other vehicles, however, may have their connectors located on, around or inside the centre console, under the right or left-hand side of the instrument panel or under the glove box. See your vehicle's documentation for its exact location.
Connect the SCS Service Connector Tool to the SCS check connector and turn the vehicle's ignition to the "On" position.
Monitor the flashes displayed by the check engine light to obtain the correct MIL error code. Long flashes signify tens, while short flashes signify ones. For example, a flash code that is comprised of three long flashes, followed by four short flashes would signify the MIL code "34." Write the code down for future reference.
Obtaining Codes with a SCS Service Connector Tool
Open the computer's web browser and navigate to the "Trouble Codes: Honda Error Code List" page in the Resources section of this article.
Locate the OBDII or MIL error code you obtained in either Section 1 or Section 2 on the list of error codes.
Match the error code with its corresponding error. For both of the examples, OBDII code "P0560" and MIL code "34," the corresponding error is "Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Backup Voltage Circuit Low Voltage."
Reading the Codes
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