What if I told you an easy to use $20 tool could save you hundreds or even thousands in car repair bills?
This week my wife came back to a car with a dead battery after my son left the lights on. Fortunately there was a friendly truck driver with some jump leads nearby and in just a few minutes the car was running and ready for the journey home. Twenty years ago that would have been the end of it. Not anymore. Now the dashboard was covered in warning lights and scary messages telling her to “Have your vehicle checked by a dealer“. These would not go away even after charging the battery.
Now she needs to book the car in to the service center, drive to the dealer and wait around while they “check the system”.
We know that the car was fine before the battery died, and it was only serviced a few weeks ago, so I think we can safely conclude that we know what the problem is. But nooo…they have to run through a battery of standard tests that will rack up chargeable time before they use their tool to reset the computer and send her on her way with a bill for between $50 and $150.
Or you can do what I did.
- Spend $20 on a OBD II reader (I already had one)
- Look up the code it provides on Google to make sure there isn’t anything seriously wrong
- Use the tool to reset the warning codes
This is exactly what the dealer will do but without the cost and hassle of sitting in a service area waiting room. These things are super easy to use if you can follow very basic directions and this thing will pay for itself over and over.
While I’m sure the auto manufacturer lawyers can make a good case for why fault codes should be checked out, it’s also a great way for the dealers to make extra money.
I can pretty much guarantee that if resetting the codes was performed at the dealer expense they would provide a button in the car to allow you to do it yourself.
Oh…and while you are there they will probably tell you that you need to replace your windshield wipers while you are there and they can do it for only $80.