How to Clear Fault Codes with Carly

Clearing Fault Codes

After you have run diagnostics using your Carly adapter and app, you can then use the app to clear the fault codes in your car. Remember, just because you have cleared them doesn’t mean they are fixed. That’s why we have the option for Carly to remind you to run another health check soon. Then you can quickly see which fault codes have stayed away, and which ones have returned. Those that come back can indicate an actual problem, which depending on the severity, you might need a mechanic to check out.

Check out the video below to see how clearing fault codes work!

How do I check fault codes?

The indicator lights on your dashboard are flashing like crazy but you have no idea what’s going on! Does this scenario sound familiar? 

The lights probably mean you should do something.  But what can you do if you don’t want to rush to the workshop?

Well, luckily, the error codes can be read out and deleted with the help of a OBD diagnostic device, a laptop, or a smartphone. 

The vehicle must have an OBD2 port so that the device can be connected to the car.

If you go to a workshop, professional-level equipment is usually used, which enables even deeper technical analysis. However, that level of diagnosis is not always necessary.

When to scan and reset the Fault Codes

The technology of a modern vehicle is now as complex as the inner workings of an entire computer — a computer on four wheels that is. 

One component in this system are the trouble codes also knows as dtcs (Diagnostic Trouble Code). Its task is to record mechanical defects or occurring electrical faults. This information can then be read out and evaluated manually with the help on an OBD device.

There is no prescribed, regular interval for reading and clearing the fault codes. So normally, they don’t get a lot of attention.  However, when symbols on the display start to light up, it’s time for a thorough check.

Even if that doesn’t happen,  it is still advisable to read out the trouble codes semi-regularly, since this way, serious damage to the vehicle can be avoided.

 

OBD2 makes it possible!

If you want to read out the fault codes, you no longer necessarily need the expertise of a specialist. Gas vehicles built in 2001 or later and diesel vehicles built in 2004 or later have a uniform OBD2 interface. OBD is the abbreviation for “On-Board-Diagnostics” and is the diagnostic system installed in the car.

Before all vehicles were equipped with an OBD2 interface, the respective car manufacturers had their own connections and different systems to collect and evaluate the data. This made reading and deleting fault memories a really complicated task, even in the workshops, as they often could not access all the different connections.

Owners of older models often still have to search laboriously for garages that have the right connection for their car. But for vehicles with an OBD2 interface, maintenance and fault detection has become much easier for both amateurs and professionals and is completed relatively quickly.

 

How to Read and Delete the Fault Codes for Yourself

As we’ve mentioned, if you don’t feel like driving to the workshop, you can also read and delete the fault memory yourself using a laptop, a smartphone, or a diagnostic device. 

The selected device must then be connected to the car with a suitable OBD2 adapter. As soon as the connection is established, the error codes (dtcs) are shown on the display.

If you use a laptop, you need a diagnostic adapter, suitable software and, if necessary, another adapter for your own vehicle model.

If you decide to use your smartphone, you need the appropriate app. The practical thing about this option is that there are already countless apps for reading/clear errors, and sometimes they are even completely free. 

The OBD2 scanner used for this should have a Bluetooth function, so that data transfer with the cell phone is possible.

 

The OBD2 Scanner from Carly

The OBD2 bluetooth scanner from Carly (Android – iPhone) , is extremely useful check engine light and undestand what are the problems behind.

The adapter works on iPhone as well as Android operating systems and is compatible with VW, Audi, Mercedes, and many other car brands. In addition to trouble codes diagnosis, the highly developed OBD scanner offers numerous additional functions, such as used car checks and car coding. Their small but powerful scanner from Carly, in combination with a smartphone and the corresponding app, provides all kinds of information about the vehicle, and allows you to read and delete codes. 

More about car coding can be found here. Whether the adapter supports the respective functions on your own vehicle can be found online as well. 

 

About the OBD2 Interfaces

The scanner for trouble codes readouts are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, even if you aren’t a car expert. 

You only have to connect the respective device to the OBD2 port of your car and within seconds you have the fault codes on the device. But where is this wondrous OBD2 interface actually located in the car?

Since the location differs from vehicle to vehicle, you sometimes have to turn your cockpit upside down a bit. Often, the socket is located in the driver’s area around the steering wheel. You can usually find it in the center console area under the ashtray, near the glove box, or under the steering column. If the search doesn’t bear fruit, it’s worth taking a look at the vehicle manual. Take a look at some of our videos to help you find the port here

 

Reading Out and Clearing the Fault Memory in the Workshop

Anyone with the right tools can read out the fault codes in the vehicle themselves. Or you can head to the workshop. The costs for fault codes readout in the workshop are between €25 and €60 depending on the vehicle model. Sometimes an authorized dealer offers this service free of charge. 

The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes on average, plus 5 minutes to clear the fault memory. You may notice that some error messages are automatically deleted, if they are considered sporadic. Basically, if they no longer occur within a certain driving cycle, for example after 30 starts, they are automatically removed from the memory system.

The choice is yours, but if you’re looking to save both time and money, buying a scanner such as Carly allows you to scan for error codes (dtcs) and clear them yourself! Then, if a serious issue reoccurs, you can see it, and decide if a trip to the garage is needed

Want to find out more? Watch other videos from the Car Diagnostics series:

Car Diagnostics Part 1: How to Perform a Diagnostics Check of Your Car with Carly
Car Diagnostics Part 2: How to Understand the Fault Codes with Carly

Which electronic control units the Health diagnostics feature covers depends on your car brand. Brands such as BMW, Mini, Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Seat, Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes, Renault, and Porsche have been in development for a long time and have more functions available. This includes manufacturer-level diagnosis on systems such as engine, transmission, emissions, ABS, airbag, multimedia, and more. Other brands were implemented more recently and so we currently offer the OBD functions (OBD health or diagnosis, OBD parameters, and Emissions check) for the time being, which covers the most critical systems.

We are improving the Carly solution all the time, therefore the design of the app might have changed and functionalities may have been added since the video was filmed.