How To Check OBD Codes Without Scanner?

Check obd codes without scanner

If your Check Engine light or MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) is glowing, you can check the engine faults with the help of an OBD2 scanner.

But what if you don’t have an OBD scanner and want to check the OBD codes.

You can still read the OBD codes without a scanner. There are two easy methods to retrieve OBD codes without an OBD2 scanner.


Read Next: How To Clear OBD Codes Without Scanner?

Can You Check OBD Codes Without Scanner?

Check obd codes without scanner

If you don’t have an OBD2 scanner, but your car check engine light is glowing, you can check obd codes without a scanner tool. You can check the DTC without a scan tool.

The process is a little tough to understand because we only get the symbolic signs of the error code. Don’t worry; I’ll make it easy to understand.

How To Check OBD Codes Without Scanner?

The process to check obd codes without a scanner is simple. It doesn’t require any special tool. However, you should have a Metal Wire and Key to Vehicle.

Follow these steps to check engine codes without an obd2 scanner-

Method #1

First of all, we’ll try to retrieve the obd codes by rotating the vehicle key. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Turn off the vehicle engine and remove the key.
  • Step 2: Insert the key and keep an eye on Odometer.
  • Step 3: Rotate your key 3 to 5 times quickly. Do NOT start the engine.
  • Step 4: If you rotate the key fast, you’ll see the “Check Engine” light ON, and Odometer has some codes.
  • Step 5: Note down the OBD codes until you see the “Done” message on the screen.
  • Step 6: Search for the meaning of the error code on the internet.

Method #2

This method is a little complicated; however, let’s try to find out the error codes with metal wire.

Check obd code without scanner

Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Turn OFF your vehicle engine.
  • Step 2: Locate the OBD port and insert one end of the wire’s First PIN and another end of the wire into the Second PIN. (Check the above image for reference).
  • Step 3: Turn ON the ignition by rotating the key.
  • Step 4: Monitor your meter and count the number of times a text “Service Engine Soon” blinks.
  • Step 5: It will blink 10, 13, 15, or more times. You have to remember the exact count.
  • Step 6: Go to the manual book and find the engine code section. Find the exact meaning of the error from the manual book.


You do not need an obd scanner to read the fault code. I have explained two methods to check the obd code without a scanner. You should turn off your engine before starting the process.

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