If you have a GMC truck, van, or SUV, you can scan your car’s GMC diagnostic trouble codes by using a code reader or a scan tool. From time to time, your car will notify you by turning on the check engine light and generating a trouble code whenever a problem occurs. By having a scanner, you can be fully prepared whenever you need to scan the code. Before you do the scanning, however, you need to pay attention to the following factors.
When was your car manufactured?
If you haven’t had a scanner to read GMC diagnostic trouble codes, before attempting to buy one, you need to determine first when your car was manufactured. If your car was manufactured before 1996, the chance is that your car still uses the old onboard diagnostic system. The old system is not standardized, so you need to buy a scan tool that is compatible with your car. If your car is manufactured after 1996, it is safe for you to buy a universal trouble code reader or scanner because OBD2 is a standardized system. Compatibility checking is still required, though, because although the scanner may be able to connect to your car and to retrieve the code, it may not be able to interpret some manufacturer-specific codes.
Where is your car’s DLC located?
Another way to determine your car’s OBD system is by looking for your car’s data link connector. This is the port into which you plug your code reader to retrieve GMC diagnostic trouble codes. In the old OBD system, the DLC generally differs from manufacturer to manufacturer due to the absence of standardization. The DLC is also located at a relatively hidden place, usually in your car’s engine compartment. The new OBD2 system, on the other hand, has a standardized DLC design that is located at a convenient place near the steering wheel. Checking the design and location of the DLC is often necessary because certain car models that were manufactured before 1996 and after 1994 may have used the new OBD2 system.
Which code reader is the best for you and your car?
When it’s time for you to buy a code scanner to scan GMC diagnostic trouble codes, there are various models available depending on at least two factors. The first, as already mentioned above, is the OBD technology used by the car and, subsequently, the DLC design. Secondly, you need to choose whether to get a code reader, which is often considered the cheaper scanner with some basic diagnostic functions, or a scan tool, which is a more advanced device that offers many features. Price and your experience with car maintenance should be taken into consideration when picking a choice.
How to retrieve the code?
To retrieve GMC diagnostic trouble codes, plug your scanner into your car’s DLC. In the old system, you need to refer to your car’s manual to interpret the retrieved codes. In the new OBD2 system, you should be able to get a clear interpretation of the codes that you get, especially if the codes are generic ones, because of the standardization. If the retrieved codes are manufacturer-specific, the scanner can still show the codes, but its ability to interpret them depends mostly on its compatibility with GMC’s OBD2 system.