My brother's check engine light came on in his car a couple days ago. This, of course, could mean just about anything from a loose gas cap, to an imminent system failure. That one little light sure packs a whole lot of information in it.
Of course, a mechanic can for a fee, extract the exact error code that triggered the light to come on. This is annoying because (a) you've got find a mechanic when the light comes on; (b) you've got accept that they'll charge you an exorbitant fee for an activity which takes under 1 minute to perform and (c) you've got to hope that they aren't fibbing to you as to what the trouble codes actually are.
Luckily, we've got our buddy Justin who has a code reader and was able to extract the information in just a few seconds. Combine that with Google, and troubleshooting the problem was a breeze.
Though, this got me thinking -- why don't I own a code reader? A quick search on Amazon showed that they weren't very expensive. As I talked this over with my brother, it occurred to me that we didn't technically need a code reader at this moment. But, aha! That's the perfect time to buy one.
So for $54.99, we officially invested in a Actron CP9410 PocketScan. This little puppy will read and reset the diagnostic code from any car since 1996. Best of all, it even rates the codes it finds on a scale from harmless to urgent. Perfect for a non-car geek like myself. (we have low price.here .,100 usd fee spend on your car dealer or just 32 usd ,you do yourself),,,
We gave it a try tonight on my brother's car (which is still having it's check engine light come on). It worked flawlessly.
I should probably have one of these in the glove compartment of both our cars. It only needs to come in handy once during the life time of the car to make it more than a worth while purchase. And even if it gets used only to confirm what the mechanic is going to tell me, it's still a winner.
Here's the device in action: