If the Check Engine Light (CEL) or warning lights such as ABS, Airbag, and TPMS stay ON in your ACURA, a fault code will be stored in the corresponding module. Reading and clear fault codes are essential for easy troubleshooting and maintenance. This article will guide you through reading and clearing fault codes.
Fault codes and Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are codes used to determine specific problems or malfunctions given by the car’s onboard diagnostic system. They serve as standardized diagnostic messages, allowing technicians and diagnostic tools to interpret and address these problems accurately.
How to Read and Clear Fault Codes
When a fault occurs, the affected system’s control module detects the fault and issues a fault code or DTC for that specific fault. A corresponding warning light, like the Check Engine Light, ABS Light, Airbag Light, etc., can also be triggered to alert the driver. The codes are then stored in the control module’s memory.
An On-Bord Diagnostic (OBDII) scanner, like the YOUCANIC scanner, can retrieve these codes that can help technicians gain insight into the underlying issues within the vehicle. The DTC codes help focus the troubleshooting on a specific part or system that can easily determine the root cause of the problem.
Steps for Reading and Clearing Codes with a YOUCANIC Scanner:
- Connect the YOUCANIC Scanner: Plug the YOUCANIC Scanner into the OBD-II port of your vehicle. The OBD-II port is usually located beneath the dashboard, near the steering column. Turn on the ignition by turning the key to position II. If your ACURA has a START/STOP feature, press the button without pressing the brake pedal. Do not start the engine.
- Access the Diagnostic Menu: On the scanner’s display, navigate to the “Diagnostic” or “Scan” menu. This menu allows you to access various diagnostic functions.
- Select Acura as the Vehicle Make: This ensures the scanner effectively communicates with the Acura On-Board Diagnostic system.
- The scanner has various options for model selection, you can choose SmartVIN to automatically detect your vehicle. However, you may have to choose Manual Selection if SmartVIN does not work as intended.
- Choose Model and Chassis: After selecting the vehicle make, scroll through the available models and select the correct one for your vehicle. Additionally, choose the corresponding chassis or body type.
- Select Control Units: Once you have selected the model and chassis, the scanner will 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.
- Read Codes: Within the selected control unit or module, you can “Read Codes.” Select this option to initiate the code retrieval process. The scanner will communicate with the chosen module and retrieve stored fault codes.
- Interpret the Codes: Once the 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.
- Repair the Problem: Using the fault codes as a guide, address the underlying issues related to the identified codes. Consult repair manuals and online resources, or seek professional assistance to determine the necessary repairs or component replacements.
- 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.
By following these steps with your YOUCANIC Scanner, you can effectively read and clear fault codes, enabling you to diagnose and resolve issues with your vehicle systematically and efficiently.
I can’t clear the fault codes on my Acura.
If you are having trouble clearing the fault codes on your Acura, there are a few possible reasons for this issue:
- Utilize a full system scanner capable of diagnosing and clearing all the fault codes on your Acura, such as the YOUCANIC UCAN-II.
- Unresolved Underlying Problem: Before attempting to clear the fault codes, ensure that the underlying issue or malfunction that triggered the codes has been addressed and resolved. If the problem persists, the codes may reappear even after clearing them.
- Continuous Fault Detection: Some fault codes may be continuously monitored by the vehicle’s onboard computer, meaning they will reappear immediately after being cleared until the problem is resolved. In such cases, additional diagnostic steps may be necessary to identify and rectify the issue.
- Incomplete Clearing Process: Ensure you follow the correct steps to clear the codes using your diagnostic scanner. Check the scanner’s user manual or consult a professional for guidance on the clearing procedure for your scanner and Acura model.
- Persistent Fault Codes: Certain fault codes cannot be cleared using a scanner alone. These codes may require specialized procedures or advanced diagnostic tools to clear them. In such instances, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional technician or Acura dealership.
History, Current, and stored DTCs
In vehicle diagnostics, there are three main types of Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs): history DTCs, current DTCs, and stored DTCs. Each type serves a different purpose in diagnosing and troubleshooting vehicle issues.
History DTCs: refers to fault codes previously detected but no longer present. These codes are stored as a history of an intermittent issue. History DTCs can provide valuable information about intermittent resolved problems, helping technicians identify patterns or recurring faults. However, since they are inactive, they do not indicate a present issue with the vehicle.
Current DTCs: Current DTCs are fault codes actively detected and triggered by the OBDII scanner. These codes indicate a present issue or malfunction in a specific system or component of the vehicle. Current DTCs can help pinpoint the source of the problem, allowing technicians to focus their diagnosis and repairs on the active fault.
Stored DTCs: Stored DTCs are fault codes previously detected and triggered but not active during the diagnostic scan. These codes are stored in the vehicle’s memory for a certain period. Stored DTCs can provide additional information about past issues as a historical reference for previous faults. While they may not be active, they can offer insights into the vehicle’s history and aid in the diagnostic process.
Live Data and Freeze Frame Data
Live Data and Freeze Frame Data are two essential features provided by diagnostic scanners that play an important role in vehicle diagnostics. These provide valuable real-time and snapshot information about your vehicle’s systems and components, aiding in identifying and resolving issues.
Live Data refers to a table of real-time data from various sensors and modules. This data includes engine RPM, coolant temperature, fuel trim, oxygen sensor readings, etc. These data can help monitor certain components to determine irregularities or abnormalities that may indicate a problem. Live data is a valuable tool that helps users pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
Freeze Frame Data captures information, such as vehicle speed, engine load, fuel system status, and other relevant data, when a fault code is triggered. This serves as a snapshot of the condition of the vehicle’s components during the fault occurrence. Freeze Frame Data allows users to recreate the circumstances leading to the fault, facilitating a more accurate diagnosis.
Live Data and Freeze Frame Data help mechanics and vehicle owners understand their vehicles’ potential issues. Using these diagnostic tools can make identifying problems, making informed decisions, and carrying out repairs easier, ultimately saving time and money. Monitoring real-time data and analyzing specific fault occurrences provides valuable diagnostic information, leading to more accurate troubleshooting.
Saving Time and Money on Repairs
Knowing how to read, analyze, and clear DTC codes can save you time and money. You can avoid going to a shop or a dealership to know the cause of a certain warning light on your dashboard. This avoids unnecessary diagnostic work or trial-and-error repairs, making it cost less. Also, addressing the issues immediately can prevent further damages, preventing costly repairs.
Importance of Professional-Grade Scanners
Professional-grade scanners like the YOUCANIC UCAN-II are important for vehicle diagnostics because they work with many vehicles, provide accurate code readings, have advanced features, and receive regular software updates. Professional scanners also utilize Bi-Directional or Active Tests that test certain systems, parts, or sensors to determine whether they function properly. These scanners can help technicians diagnose problems more accurately, perform repairs efficiently, and improve their overall diagnostic performance.
Common Acura Fault Codes
- 77-1 Permanent DTC POWERTRAIN SYSTEM FAILURe
- DTC Code 43 – intermittent temperature sensor in the VTM-4 unit
- DTC 45 – CEL on. Fuel system too rich or too lean
- P0010 – Powertrain Control Module (PCM) failure, Variable valve timing actuator failure, Wiring issue
- P0014 – Camshaft variable timing solenoid failure, the engine oil level is too low, and the engine is not timed correctly. The engine oil does not meet the manufacturer’s requirements, Variable valve timing actuator failure, Worn timing chain.
- P0113 – Defective Intake Air Temperature Sensor, Dirty air filter, Defective Mass Air Flow Sensor, Faulty or corroded Intake Air Temperature Sensor wiring or connections
- P0203 – Fuel injector failure, Powertrain Control Module (PCM) failure, Wiring issue
- P0301 – Worn out spark plugs, ignition wires, coil(s), distributor cap and rotor (when applicable), Incorrect ignition timing, Vacuum leak(s), Low or weak fuel pressure, Improperly functioning EGR system, Defective Mass Air Flow Sensor, Defective Crankshaft and/or Camshaft Sensor, Defective Throttle Position Sensor, Mechanical engine problems (i.e., low compression, leaking head gasket(s), or valve problems)
- C0040 – A faulty wheel speed sensor, A problem with the wheel speed sensor circuit, Reluctor issues, A problem with the ABS module
- U0107 – A dead battery, A faulty TAC module, A problem with the TAC module circuit, A problem with the CAN bus
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to read codes in an Acura?
Reading codes in an Acura helps identify the root cause of any problems or malfunctions that the vehicle may be experiencing. It provides valuable information to technicians or owners, allowing them to pinpoint the issue and take appropriate steps for repair or maintenance.
Can I erase codes without fixing the problem in my Acura?
While it is possible to erase codes without fixing the underlying issue in an Acura, it is not advisable. Clearing the codes without addressing the problem will likely result in the codes reappearing, as the root cause has not been resolved. Diagnosing and fixing the problem before erasing the codes is always best.
What does it mean to “erase” codes in an Acura?
Erasing codes in an Acura refers to clearing the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) from the vehicle’s computer system. It resets the system and removes stored codes, indicating that the issue has been addressed or resolved.
Is it safe to erase codes in my Acura?
It is generally safe to erase codes in an Acura, especially if you have already fixed the underlying issue. However, it is crucial to understand that simply erasing the codes will not fix the problem. If you haven’t resolved the root cause, the codes may reappear. Diagnosing and addressing the problem before clearing the codes is always recommended.
What you will need
To diagnose, read, and clear Acura, you need an OBD2 scanner covering all systems. Generic OBD2 scanners can only read and clear codes that trigger the check engine light. The procedure for reading ACURA fault codes is similar, regardless of which system you try to diagnose.
We hope this guide helps you read and clear codes on your Acura. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Acura vehicle.
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