OBD Codes for 1996 and Newer OBD-II Cars

Emissions testing laptop
Many local parts stores will read your OBD Codes free of charge. Getty

Some Things to Think About Regarding OBD Codes

OBD Codes can be a fantastic source of very useful information when it comes to troubleshooting your vehicle, or just trying to keep your car or truck in top shape. You'll recall from the On Board Diagnostics Introduction that an OBD Code is a stored message in your car's ECU that alerts you to something that went wrong. Some OBD Codes actually have a sort of time stamp, but most will only tell you that, for instance, your engine experienced a misfire at some point since the last time your vehicle was serviced.

 

Below you'll find a number of the possible codes for cars built since 1996 using an OBD-II On Board Diagnostics system. Choose your vehicle's make from the list below, then follow the link to the database of Diagnostic Trouble Codes for your car.

OBD-II Codes For 1996 and Newer OBD-II Cars

With your code in hand, follow the link to the number range which corresponds to your code, then you'll see the specific code listed and the issue that caused the code to appear.



















If you have a Chrysler product, your codes are here.

Codes for Nissan can be found here.

Use your Code Wisely

Just knowing what the OBD Code is will not get your problem solved. It's a great starting point, but if you get a code telling you there is an emission controls problem, it's not wise to dive in and start replacing expensive components based on a general code. If you get a very specific error code like oxygen sensor left bank, you can be pretty sure that you need to check the wiring that goes to that O2 sensor and, if it checks out, replace the sensor.

Some codes only indicate a temporary condition that may or may not ever repeat itself. If you forget to fully tighten your gas cap, this can cause an evaporative emissions code. Tighten the cap and it's fixed! But the same code can indicate a faulty gas cap, or a leak in your fuel filler area, or a leak at the charcoal canister.

It would be wasteful to replace your gas cap, then replumb and replace the charcoal canister prematurely.  For more information on where these codes come from and what you're supposed to do with them, check out the On Board Diagnostics introduction.