How to Read OBD2 Codes Without Scanner [4 Steps 2023]

It is not unusual to hire a mechanic to check what’s going on in your engine. But why you will hire or look for a technician if you can check it. Yes, anyone can retrieve the engine codes with the obd2 scanner. But without a scanner, retrieving code is not impossible.

The term check engine’s code uses when you have an emission control system or computer-controlled system in Chevy Silverado or any vehicle. That’s why here you’ll get the idea of how to read obd2 codes without scanner. Let’s get going through the system.

Why We Need to Retrieve How to Read OBD2 Codes Without Scanner

The OBD2 trouble codes help us to troubleshoot the engine system and track down the source of the engine’s crux. The computerized engine recognizes malfunction and isolates it. Then it transfers the malfunction as a code and saves it. So, you can understand the problem by seeing the number in the repair manual.

Now the question comes. Why is it essential to know about how to get check engine light codes without scanner SubaruNo matter what, you have Subaru, Chevy Silverado, or dodge, you can retrieve the OBD2 codes with a code scanner.

Generally, we don’t keep this scanner, but all car mechanics have this tool. If we have no time to go to mechanics, there is no other way to retrieve the codes without a scanner. Also, the engine light is blinking doesn’t mean it’s a severe problem. That’s why, before going to a car repair shop, we should check it ourselves.

Reading Methods of OBD2 Codes without Having a Code Scanner

Without using a code scanner, you can read the code of OBD2 in two methods. Both are quite easy and suitable for all ODB2 engines. Let’s see the methods.

Method: Ignition Key

Retrieving OBD2 codes with the help of the ignition key is a simplified process. Using this method, you can check engine codes for Chevy Silverado also. Here, all the steps of this method have been given serially.

Ignition Key

Step-1:  Firstly, use your ignition key to switch “ON” and “OFF” the lock key without cranking the engine. How many times you have to do this “ON” and “OFF” depends on the vehicle. Most cars require five times, and others require three times. Also, you have to end the action by keeping the key in the “ON” position. If you mistakenly crank the car, you will have to start the sequence from the first.

Step-2: When you do step-1, keep your eyes on the service/check engine light on the dashboard.

Step-3: Now, you have to understand the signal of the service light/check engine light. The light will start blinking and start to flush. There are going to be a series of long flashes and then quick flashes. These signals indicate the number. Every pulse represents a number.

The long flashes represent the first number of the trouble code, and the short-quick flashes indicate the second number. A pause will help to separate one number from the next in a two-digit code. You’ll get a clear idea from an example. If you see a long pulse following a pause, then again pulse. That means it is code 41.

Step-4: Note down the flushes and find out the exact code. It will help you to understand the exact issue of the engine. Now look for the code in servicing handbook.

Method: Using Odometer

Here you’ll see how to read the engine that comes with an odometer. It is also a simplified method.

Step-1:First, you have to deject the odometer’s “Trip” and “Reset” buttons while turning the key on.

Step-2:Now, release the buttons and see if the odometer displays the trouble code or not.

Step-3:Again, press the odometer “Trip” and “Reset” buttons and switch “ON” and “OFF” the ignition lock key. End the action keeping the key “ON” position. Now, release the odometer switches and watch the code.

Step-4:Finally, find the test port below the dash where you will find the OBD2 scanner is plugged in. Use an unbent paper clip or jumper wire to link between “A” and “B”. You will see the check engine light flashing.  Read the code from there, like the previous method.

Additional Tips

  • The OBD2 check engine will automatically reset after fixing the engine problem.
  • Try to read the code from the blinking light a few times. You’ll understand accurate code.
  • If you have further confusion in mind, you can go to a mechanic. They wouldn’t demand any money for this simple work.


How to check engine light codes without a scanner dodge?

It is an easy task to do. The method is the same as the Chevy Silverado we have discussed here. You can do it by the ignition key method and odometer method. For both techniques, one thing is common, and that’s is reading engine light.

But in the ignition key method, you have to find the code on your own, and in the odometer method, the odometer will count down the code and display it.

How can I read the diagnostic code?
You can read the code with a simple code reader. There have many OBD2 code readers in the market. You can buy one of them. These tools range from simple code readers that will tell you in what area the trouble lies.

Just plug in into the diagnostic port, situated below the diver’s side of the instrument panel. Then you have to turn the ignition key “ON” position, and the code will appear on the tool’s display. Now match the code number with a comprehensive trouble code list, which is in the OBD2 hand manuals.

Final Note

Though there have many methods for retrieving OBD2 codes without getting help from a scanner, there is no reason to get tensed when you see the check engine light. It doesn’t mean that your engine faces a big problem and it will stop working after some time. If you have no experience with checking the code with a scanner and without a scanner, it is better to take your vehicle to mechanics to get it checked.

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