Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Does the OBD system use more than lights to communicate with the driver?

asked by on

Are lights the only thing the OBD uses to warn the driver of issues?

A: Malfunction Indicator Lamps (MIL) and audib...

Malfunction Indicator Lamps (MIL) and audible alarms are currently the only means by which the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system can inform the driver of any issues that adversely affect the operation of the engine or other electronically controlled system.

The MIL, or Check Engine Light, being illuminated doesn’t automatically mean that your car is about to break down. It does mean that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has detected a failure that is causing your tailpipe emissions to exceed acceptable limits. Basically, the MIL is telling you that you are polluting the air. You need to have a trained technician check the OBD system to determine what issues the PCM has detected and to have them addressed. Not only will your engine run efficiently, but you won’t be polluting the atmosphere, either.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Where is the plug in for the code reader?

Your vehicle's OBD connector is located on the driver's side of the vehicle underneath the dash to the right of the steering column just above the gas pedal.

Q: P2196 OBD-II Trouble Code. came and went in 24 hours. 4 starts.

If the mechanic tested the output (functioning) of the oxygen sensor, especially according to the protocol at this link and found that the sensor was non functioning at that time, what you might be experiencing is a "failing" oxygen sensor...

Q: Where is the plug in for the code reader? 2013 Honda Civic

I am working on this

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...