Determining engine fault codes can be daunting at first but in this article we attempt to explain a little more about the OBD system (on-board diagnostic system) and DTC codes (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) and what they could potentially mean.
What is an engine fault code?
Engine fault codes (also known as Diagnostic Trouble Codes, or DTC for short), are codes that help mechanics to pinpoint an issue with your vehicle. You can only view these codes when using a scanning tool, connected to the vehicle’s OBD system (on-board diagnostic system) and usually consist of five alphanumericals, for instance A4321.
The OBD system and what it does
You’ll find that the on-board diagnostic system (OBD) is essentially a computer located within your vehicle which helps associate car faults with a particular code for quicker diagnosis. Whether it be an issue with your emissions, engine, transmission or ignition, the OBD system can help identify what needs attention. You’ll usually find that all cars since 2003 have such a system in place.
When your vehicle’s sensors encounter faults anywhere on the vehicle, the OBD system will register that information and save a DTC code within its memory for mechanics to access for full details of the area(s) affected. The driver will usually only be given a warning on their dashboard, usually to state they should check the engine and sometimes an error code is displayed.
Reading DTC codes
Each manufacturer of vehicles has their own set of DTC codes associated with each model, so consulting your owner’s manual is advised for more accurate diagnosis. There are however common elements to the 5 alphanumerical codes, which explain where on the vehicle the issue could arise from. The first letter of the DTC code can indicate the area of the car which is at fault, which are:
U – the network associated with the vehicle
B – the body of the vehicle
P – the powertrain which transfers power from the engine to the wheels for movement
C – the chassis, or the frame of the vehicle
Engine fault codes diagnostics and repairs
We’d recommend seeking your nearest garage to assess and read the codes using an OBD scanner. Mechanics will be able to diagnose the issue quicker as they have all of the equipment necessary to read the OBD system and understand the manufacturer’s codes.
If you’re local to Bath or Radstock and require VW diagnostics of any engine fault codes on your car, book your appointment with MCM Garage near Bath today or call us on 01761 415 501 to schedule your diagnostic. We can help you understand the issue, provide a solution to resolve the fault(s), quote for any work required and get your car back on the road as soon as possible.