Raspberry Pi Dongle: How to Read and Reset Fault Codes From Your Vehicle
The AutoPi IoT platform is much more than your regular OBD-II dongle. The dongle is built on Raspberry Pi and thus the dongle can also perform all the things a regular OBD-II dongle does as well as additional exceeding abilities. One of the common abilities with the dongle is how to read and reset fault codes on/from your vehicle. In this blog we will go over how you can read out the details regarding fault codes and how it is done with the AutoPi as well as how you can combine fault codes with triggers to make automatic alerts.
Getting a vehicle’s diagnostic fault code on your dashboard can be frustrating and confusing, because the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) doesn’t precisely describe the problem or the severity of the problem. A common example of this is the Check Engine Light:
The Check Engine Light can indicate 30 or more different faults on your vehicle, depending on your make and model. Sometimes the light will indicate more than one issue at the same time. The light will normally tell you to bring your vehicle to a mechanic and then he will use an external tool to readout the specific fault codes. But sometimes you may be able to save a few bucks by fixing and clearing the error code(s) on your own. This is something you can do with AutoPi.
Reading error codes
When you are driving, the AutoPi will automatically log all diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), together with a timestamp and the GPS position. This means that you will also be able to see where on your trip the DTC became active and also where it became inactive (if it went away on its own), no more driving to the mechanic and leaving because he couldn't see any issues. This is all shown on a map on your trips page, so you can easily get an overview of it:
Another advantage of using the AutoPi, is that it will show you a precise description to the error code, a severity range and also give you a possible solution to the problem. When the indicator light goes on during a live trip, your precise error, severity and possible solution will be shown in a widget on the dashboard:
You are then also able to cross reference the error code with any other logged information. Like if the time of the DTC occurring, matches the spike on the accelerometer, you may have a loose or faulty sensor - and your mechanic can use this information to get a fix on the real issue. The fault codes with a higher severity can then be solved faster by you or the mechanic while the lower severity error codes can be dealt with at a slower or your own pace.
Resetting error codes
For some error codes it might be possible to fix the error on your own, if you know what you are doing. Or sometimes you get an error code with a low severity, which you don't need to react on right now because there is nothing to fix. For this, it is possible to reset error codes directly from the AutoPi Cloud. The error codes, and all details will still be present in the dashboard, but will be marked as cleared, and of course no longer visible in the car.
The AutoPi gives you an insight to your vehicle’s diagnostic codes and makes it easier for you to clear, read and reset the trouble codes. Resetting of error codes is very easy with AutoPi. Just open up your dashboard, find the widget containing error codes and press the reset button.
Please note: Resetting an error codes do not mean the issue has been resolved. We recommend you investigate and take all error codes seriously. Contact a mechanic if you are not sure what you are doing.
Other blog posts for further reading
Discover hidden functions in your car (using CAN bus sniffing)
All modern vehicles today is controlled by multiple Electronic Control Units (ECU), which you can think of as small computers controlling all electrical components in your car. Using the OBD-II port and an AutoPi it is possible to communicate with the ECUs. One of the ECU’s is called the Engine Control Module (ECM). This is responsible for communication with a lot of subsystems, like transmission, power steering, windows and doors. These subsystems communicates on a network bus called Controller Area Network (CAN), by broadcasting messages on the bus.
Saving your car interior on a hot day - Making a cabin overheating protection system using AutoPi
Studies show that on a hot summer day the temperature inside your vehicle will rise dramatically within just 10 minutes after you parked. HeatKill.org reports that with an outside temperature of 27 C (80 F), the inside temperature could rise to as high as 37 C (99 F) after just 10 minutes. The inside of your car becomes an oven roasting your interior. The sun will permanently damage the color and look of everything it touches, thereby degrading the value of your car.
Raspberry Pi Car Security: How to Add a Remote Theft Detection System to Your Car
Your car is a valuable and expensive asset. Even with full insurance a car theft can be a cumbersome and expensive affair. But how can you help prevent the theft of your car and possibly avoid an increased insurance premium? In this blog post, AutoPi explore the possibilities of getting remote theft detection, using the Raspberry Pi as a car security system.