If you have a Toyota car, understanding the specific Toyota diagnostic trouble codes is important. By understanding those codes, you will know all problems that may occur in your car that are not represented by any generic codes. You will also know that if you want to do the diagnostic task yourself, you need to have the right scan tool for it.
What Are Toyota Diagnostic Trouble Codes?
What are Toyota’s specific trouble codes and why do they exist? Trouble codes or OBD2 codes are codes that are generated by your car’s OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) system. The OBD2 or OBD-II is considered the standard that has been used since 1996. Any cars, including Toyota cars, that are manufactured after that year should already adopt this system.
When the Check Engine Light on your car’s dashboard turns on, a certain problem must already occur in your car’s powertrain, body, chassis, or network system. If the problem is trivial, the light will only turn on, but if the problem is considered serious, it will flash. In order to understand the nature of the problem, a scanner should be plugged into the OBD2 port near the steering wheel. The scanner will then show the generated code. In some advanced scanner models, more understandable information about the problem, how to fix it, and estimated repair cost may also be displayed.
The codes are usually generic, which mean that they are shared by all car manufacturers. However, Toyota may add their own specific Toyota diagnostic trouble codes to identify certain problems that are not yet represented by any generic codes.
Why Understanding Toyota Diagnostic Trouble Codes Important?
As mentioned above, there are problems in some Toyota cars that are not yet represented by generic codes. Although all scanners can read those codes, not all of them can interpret the codes and provide relevant information that you can understand. Only scanners that are compatible with Toyota cars can read them. By understanding Toyota diagnostic trouble codes, you will know how to choose the right OBD2 scan tool to diagnose your car’s problems.
What If Your Scanner Doesn’t Support Toyota Diagnostic Trouble Codes?
The scan tool can still retrieve the codes that are generated by your car’s OBD2 system accurately; however, if you need information about what the retrieved codes mean, you need to refer to a secondary reference to get such information. This information is widely available on the internet. You can find an online database of Toyota diagnostic trouble codes for specific makes, such as Camry or Highlander, or a trouble code database for all Toyota cars. If you already have a scan tool, you thus don’t necessarily need to buy a new one, even if your old scanner cannot interpret the manufacturer-specific codes into meaningful sentences.
What If You Want to Buy a New Scanner?
If you haven’t had an OBD2 scanner and decide to buy a new one, it is highly recommended that you check the scanner’s compatibility with Toyota cars. Many models that are available on the market today, such as Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner and Actron CP9690 OBDi-ii Toyota AutoScanner, are compatible with Toyota cars’ OBD2 system and capable to interpret Toyota diagnostic trouble codes accurately.