OBD2 Reader

Bought one of these from ebay for £3.99 (they are also available from Amazon, Halfords etc). It is a OBD2 reader dongle that plugs into your car. With it you can check alarm codes from your car when the engine light comes on. Depending on your skill set you can do in-depth diagnostics. At the very least you can determine whether it is safe to continue your journey or drive to a garage or not drive at all. The one I bought connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and app. The app I chose was Torque for Android. The free version contains adverts and covers the basics which enables you to identify alarms and reset them. The dongle works with IOS and believe it or not W10M. Mine came with a CD ROM with programs for Mac and Windows and even Symbian. The paid up Torque app £2.99 has a wealth of extras. Virtually any car built after 1996 should be compliant.

"All cars and light trucks built and sold in the United States after January 1, 1996 were required to be OBD II equipped. In general, this means all 1996 model year cars and light trucks are compliant, even if built in late 1995. 2) There will be a note on a sticker or nameplate under the hood: "OBD IIcompliant".

At the very least it could save a garage bill as most garages charge around £30 to plug you into the computer. Also if you already know the alarm code, and don't reset it, you will know if the garage is fixing the correct problem. The dongle I chose is so small you can keep it in the glove compartment.
To use it simply find your OBD2 socket in your car. Should be in the cockpit. On your smartphone switch Bluetooth on and pair. Now open the app and go to settings. Go to the section where you manage your Bluetooth connections. Choose your dongle and let it read your engine computer. Engine doesn't have to be running at this stage. Look at the alarm message(s). Click on the link and you get an in-depth description of the fault and possible solutions.
Took me about 5 minutes to pair, read the alarm and reset it.
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