When it comes to maintaining the health and performance of your Buick, whether it’s a classic LeSabre, a versatile Enclave, or the sleek and modern Regal, understanding and addressing the various fault codes that trigger dashboard warning lights is crucial. These warning lights, such as the Check Engine, ABS, Airbag, and Traction Control indicators, are your car’s way of alerting you to potential issues. In this guide, we’ll explore the process of reading and clearing these fault codes across various Buick models. This knowledge is essential for seasoned car enthusiasts and first-time Buick owners, ensuring your vehicle, whether an Encore or a LaCrosse, runs smoothly and safely.
What you will need
Access Factory Repair Manuals
The YOUCANIC Pro Manuals offer OEM Factory Repair Manuals with detailed steps and illustrations, comprehensive wiring diagrams, torque specifications, and access to technical service bulletins and OEM service information, mirroring dealership manuals.
- Access the OBD-II Port: This port is usually found near the steering column under the dashboard. The OBD-II port is the gateway to your car’s diagnostic information. Turn the ignition key to the “ON” position without starting the engine to make a connection with the vehicle’s computer. If your Buick has a START/STOP feature, press the button without pressing the brake pedal. Do not start the engine. If you are unsure of the OBD-II port of your vehicle, you can always check the Car Owner’s Manual.
- Access the Diagnostic Menu: On the YOUCANIC scanner’s display, navigate to the “Diagnostic” or “Scan” menu. This menu allows you to access various diagnostic functions for your Buick.
- Select ‘Buick’ as the Vehicle Make: This ensures the scanner effectively communicates with the Buick On-Board Diagnostic system and effectively scans the fault codes.
- Select option for model selection: The scanner has various options for model selection. You can choose SmartVIN to detect your vehicle automatically. However, you choose Manual Selection if SmartVIN does not work as intended.
- Select the Specific Model and Chassis: After selecting the vehicle make, scroll through the available models and select the correct one for your Buick. Choose the corresponding chassis or body type to properly sync the scanner to your vehicle.
- Select Control Units: Once you have selected the model and chassis, the scanner will let you choose between “Quick scan” or “Control Modules.” Control Modules display a list of control units or modules in your vehicle. Examples include the engine control module (ECM), transmission control module (TCM), and ABS control module. Choose the specific module you want to diagnose. Otherwise, you can also choose the “Quick Scan” to check everything.
- Interpret the Codes: Once the YOUCANIC scanner completes the code retrieval process, the displayed codes will provide information about specific issues detected by the control unit. Take note of these codes for further analysis and diagnosis. Each DTC consists of a letter and four numbers. The letter indicates the system affected, while the numbers describe the issue more specifically. Click here to learn more about Fault codes.
- Erase Codes: After the problem has been repaired, return to the scanner’s menu and select the option to “Erase Codes” or “Clear Codes.” This action removes the stored fault codes from the control unit’s memory, indicating that the problem has been resolved. Please note that you may or may not erase a code when the issue is not fixed.
NOTE: These pictures are just the demo of our YOUCANIC Scanner. It may or may not be the same, but the procedure is the same.
What if I can’t clear the Fault Codes on my Buick?
- Use a professional-grade scanner: You might be using a generic OBD-II scanner. Utilize a full system scanner or a professional-grade scanner like the YOUCANIC scanner because generic scanners may not be fully compatible with your Buick, and they cannot access and clear manufacturer-specific codes or perform advanced diagnostic functions.
- Underlying Issues: Before attempting to clear fault codes, it’s crucial to address the underlying problem or malfunction that triggered the codes in the first place. Failure to resolve the root cause may result in the codes reappearing even after clearing them.
- Proper Clearing Procedure: Following the correct steps outlined in your diagnostic scanner’s user manual is essential to clear fault codes effectively. If unsure about the clearing procedure, consult a professional for guidance specific to your scanner and Buick model.
When and how frequently should you scan your Buick for DTCs
It is recommended to scan your Buick for DTCs at least once a year or more frequently if you notice any signs of trouble, such as a check engine light, SRS light, ABS light, transmission code, TRC, unusual performance, or increased fuel consumption. Regular scanning can help identify potential problems and prevent more serious and costly issues that will empty your wallet. Most modern cars since 2001 have OBD-II ports like the ENVISION, REGAL TOURX, CASCADA, LACROSSE, ENCORE, ENCLAVE, and other vehicles.
What are History, Current Codes, and Stored Codes?
DTCs can be classified into three categories:
- History Codes: These are past faults that have been resolved but remain in the system
- Current Codes: These indicate active faults that are currently affecting the vehicle’s operation
- Stored Code: These are intermittent faults that have occurred in the past but are not currently active.
Check our article here for the History, Current, and Stored codes.
What are Live Data and Freeze data?
Live data allows you to monitor real-time sensor readings, providing valuable insights into the car’s operation. On the other hand, Freeze frame data captures a snapshot of vehicle conditions when a fault code is triggered. Analyzing this data provides context and aids in pinpointing the root cause of the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a DTC and a trouble code?
DTC and trouble code are interchangeable terms. They both refer to diagnostic trouble codes for identifying and diagnosing vehicle system problems.
Can I clear fault codes myself?
Yes, you can clear fault codes yourself using a compatible scan tool. However, addressing the underlying issue that caused the code to be set first is important, as clearing the codes alone may not resolve the problem.
Should I always clear fault codes after repairing a problem?
Yes, but always ensure the issue is repaired before erasing the codes.
- What Is an OBD2 Scanner and How Does It Work?
What Is an OBD2 Scanner and How Does It Work? | The Drive
- DTC Fault Codes
DTC Fault Codes – YOUCANIC
- What Does the Check Engine Light Look Like, and What Does It Mean?
What Does the Check Engine Light Look Like, and Really Mean? – Consumer Reports
- Current / Stored / Active / Past / History Fault Codes Explained
Current / Stored / Active / Past / History Fault Codes Explained – YOUCANIC