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
Switching from Raspberry Compute to Raspberry Zero
During the design phase of the AutoPi, it was decided to use the Raspberry Compute Module. The Raspberry Compute Module is small, versatile and expandable in a lot of ways, which suited the AutoPi project perfect. All the pinouts from the Broadcom BCM2835 processor is available through the SODIMM DDR2 interface on the Compute Module. This gave us a lot of possibilities during the design phase of the AutoPi and therefore the Compute module was an obvious choice for us as a main processor.
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