Have you ever wondered what triggered that pesky warning light in your car? Modern cars are capable of monitoring themselves and storing error codes when something is amiss, but you have to extract that code to figure what’s going on.
While you can just drop by your mechanic’s shop or visit a local car dealer to have them check your engine codes, you often need to make an appointment. On top of that, they may charge you a service fee (up to an hour of labor) for the 30 seconds that it takes them to check the codes.
Instead of relying on an auto shop or car dealer to check your codes, I suggest either: (1) heading to your nearest auto parts store, where they may check engine codes for free, or (2) picking up a code reader of your very own. You can actually get a decent code reader (such as this one or this one) for $30-$50, which is considerably less than a typical diagnostic visit.