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Today, you can buy a simple code reader for less than the cost of a movie ticket, and the right accessory can even turn your phone into a scan tool.
What it will do is provide you with a trouble code, or several codes, that provide a jumping-off point in the diagnostic process. When your check engine light turns on, your car is trying to communicate in the only way that it can. At the most basic level, the check engine light indicates that some sensor, somewhere in your engine, exhaust, or transmission, has provided unexpected data to the computer.
That could indicate a problem with the system the sensor is responsible for monitoring, a bad sensor, or even a wiring issue.
In some cases, a check engine light may turn on and then eventually turn itself off with no outside intervention. In fact, information about the problem is usually still available via code reader even after the light turns itself off. There was a time when code readers and scanners were only available from specialty tool companies, so they were somewhat difficult for the average vehicle owner to obtain. That has changed in recent years, and you can buy inexpensive code readers and scan tools from retail tool and parts stores, online retailers, and many other locations.
Some tool stores and tool rental businesses can provide you with higher-end diagnostic tools for much less than it would cost to purchase one. Vehicles that were produced after the advent of computerized controls, but prior toare all lumped together in the OBD-I category. Vehicles produced after use OBD-II, which is a standardized system that simplifies the process a whole lot. These vehicles all use a common diagnostic connector and a set of universal trouble codes.
Manufacturers can choose to go above and beyond the basics, resulting in manufacturer-specific codes, but the rule of thumb is that you can use any OBD-II code reader on any vehicle produced after Once you have your hands on a check engine light code reader or a scan tool, the first step in using it is to locate the diagnostic connector.
Older vehicles equipped with OBD-I systems located these connectors in all sorts of places, including under the dashboard, in the engine compartment, and on or near a fuse block. OBD-I diagnostic connectors also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you look at the plug on your scan tool, you should be able to get a good idea of what to look for in terms of the size and shape of the diagnostic connector.
Interior Car Lighting
If your vehicle is equipped with OBD-II, then the connector will usually be found under the dashboard to the left of the steering column. The position can vary from one model to another, and they can also be buried pretty deep. In some cases, you may find that the diagnostic connector is even covered by a panel or plug. It will also have sixteen pins that are configured in two rows of eight. In rare cases, your OBD-II connector may even be located in the center console, behind the ashtray, or in other difficult to find locations.
With the ignition key turned off or removed, you can gently insert your code reader plug into the diagnostic connector. With the diagnostic connector plugged in securely, you can insert your ignition key and turn it to the on position.
This will provide power to the code reader. Depending on the specific device, it may prompt you for some information at that time. You may need to enter the VIN, the type of engine, or other information. At that point, the code reader will be ready to do its work. The most basic device will simply provide you with any stored codes, while other scan tools will give you the option to read the trouble codes or view other data. If you have a basic code reader, you will have to write down the trouble codes and do some research.Want to add some amazing style and color to your ride?
Not only can you do it yourself, but you can also get great results for less than the price of a pair of speakers! Want to see what they look like before you spend the time and effort? Be sure to check out my demo video at the end.
Light-emitting diodes LEDs are semiconductor components that produce light. Semiconductors are basic electronic elements made up of silicon and other elements that allow electrons electrical current to flow in certain ways. An interesting property is that they also produce visible light. An anode positive lead connects to a positive power supply and the cathode negative lead connects to the ground or - wire.
This includes uses in both home and car lighting, too.EASY LED CAR INTERIOR LIGHTS FOR ONLY $12!!!
In other words, they contain 2 different materials like silicon and germanium bonded together to form a junction — or bridge — that forms a diode.
That principle is the basis of microscopic transistors which are what allow microprocessors and many other modern technological miracles to work. The tiny components like the LED chip the semiconductor materials themselves are very sensitive but are sealed in an extremely hard and durable epoxy housing.
Wires are bonded to the tiny components for connecting power. Diodes have a special side effect when they pass electricity — they produce light! The color of the light produced depends upon the materials used to make them. Over the years more and more companies have improved upon them and now produce cheap, great-looking LEDs that can produce light in a variety of colors.
Automobile auxiliary power outlet
Unlike regular light bulbs, however, LEDs actually work on a low voltage say around 1. This means they must be used with a resistor to limit the amount of current flowing Otherwise they burn out quickly.
LEDs have several advantages over incandescent filament-type bulbs and neon tubes as well. As you can see from the table, LEDs have significant advantages in nearly every category that matters. When done well they still look great! By using a specially designed LED controller the 3 colors are driven at different brightness levels and various hues of colors are produced.
Of course, basic red, green, and blue colors can be produced as well. The number of variations in color and brightness you can choose from depends on the ability of the controller used.
Diagram showing the design and basic operation of car LED light strips. These waveforms are how brightness and color combinations become possible. Resistors are required to limit the amount of current each LED segment can receive.
LED light strips worked by being driven by a special power supply that controls the amount of time and which color LEDs switch on and off. This allows a variety of brightness levels and color combinations.
The longer the on time applied to an LED, the brighter it will seem to your eyes.A plug-in electric vehicle PEV is any vehicle that can be recharged from an external source of electricity, such as wall socketsand the electricity stored in the rechargeable battery packs drives or contributes to drive the wheels.
Sales of the first mass-production plug-in cars by major carmakers began in late Decemberwith the introduction of the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. Plug-in cars have several benefits compared to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. All-electric vehicles have lower operating and maintenance costs, and produce little or no local air pollution.
They reduce dependence on petroleum and may significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the electricity source. Plug-in hybrids capture most of these benefits when they are operating in all-electric mode.
A plug-in electric vehicle PEV is any motor vehicle with rechargeable battery packs that can be charged from the electric gridand the electricity stored on board drives or contributes to drive the wheels for propulsion. PEV is a subcategory of electric vehicles that includes battery electric vehicles BEVsplug-in hybrid vehiclesPHEVsand electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.
A battery electric vehicle BEV uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs as its only source for propulsion. A plug-in hybrid operates as an all-electric vehicle or BEV when operating in charge-depleting mode, but it switches to charge-sustaining mode after the battery has reached its minimum state of charge SOC threshold, exhausting the vehicle's all-electric range AER. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle PHEV or PHValso known as a plug-in hybrid, is a hybrid electric vehicle with rechargeable batteries that can be restored to full charge by connecting a plug to an external electric power source.
An aftermarket electric vehicle conversion is the modification of a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle ICEV or hybrid electric vehicle HEV to electric propulsion, creating an all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
There are several companies in the U. The Chinese government began implementation of its NEV program in to foster the development and introduction of new energy vehicles. PEVs have several advantages.
How to Use a Car Diagnostic Tool
These include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, noise reduction, and national security benefits.
Internal combustion engines are relatively inefficient at converting on-board fuel energy to propulsion as most of the energy is wasted as heat, and the rest while the engine is idling.
Electric motorson the other hand, are more efficient at converting stored energy into driving a vehicle. Electric drive vehicles do not consume energy while at rest or coasting, and modern plug-in cars can capture and reuse as much as one fifth of the energy normally lost during braking through regenerative braking.
The Volt cost per mile is higher because it is heavier than the Leaf. These estimates are based on the fuel economy and energy consumption measured on their tests and using a U. When the Volt runs in range-extended mode using its premium gasoline-powered engine, the plug-in hybrid has a cost of The out-of-pocket cost per mile of the three most fuel efficient gasoline-powered cars as tested by the magazine are the Toyota Priuswith a cost of 8.
The previous operating costs do not include maintenance, depreciation or other costs. All-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles also have lower maintenance costs as compared to internal combustion vehicles, since electronic systems break down much less often than the mechanical systems in conventional vehicles, and the fewer mechanical systems onboard last longer due to the better use of the electric engine.
PEVs do not require oil changes and other routine maintenance checks. The Edison Electric Institute EEI conducted an analysis that demonstrated that between January and February the real price for gasoline has been much more volatile than the real price of electricity in the United States. The analysis is based on a plug-in electric vehicle with an efficiency of 3. The analysis found that the cost of an equivalent electric-gallon of gasoline would have been not only cheaper to operate during the entire analysis period but also that equivalent electricity prices are more stable and have been declining in terms of equivalent dollars per gallon.
Electric carsas well as plug-in hybrids operating in all-electric modeemit no harmful tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power, such as particulates sootvolatile organic compoundshydrocarbonscarbon monoxideozoneleadand various oxides of nitrogen. The clean air benefit is usually local because, depending on the source of the electricity used to recharge the batteries, air pollutant emissions are shifted to the location of the generation plants. This fact has been referred to as the long tailpipe of plug-in electric vehicles.
From the perspective of a full life cycle analysisthe electricity used to recharge the batteries must be generated from renewable or clean sources such as windsolarhydroelectricor nuclear power for PEVs to have almost none or zero well-to-wheel emissions. The magnitude of the potential advantage depends on the mix of generation sources and therefore varies by country and by region. For example, France can obtain significant emission benefits from electric and plug-in hybrids because most of its electricity is generated by nuclear power plants ; similarly, most regions of Canada are primarily powered with hydroelectricitynuclear, or natural gas which have no or very low emissions at the point of generation; and the state of Californiawhere most energy comes from natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear plants can also secure substantial emission benefits.
The United Kingdom also has a significant potential to benefit from PEVs as natural gas plants dominate the generation mix. On the other hand, emission benefits in GermanyChinaIndiaand the central regions of the United States are limited or non-existent because most electricity is generated from coal.