• Kia Optima Wagon Could Turn into Reality (Updated)


    The next-generation Kia Optima is scheduled to be revealed at 2015 Ny Auto Show held in the first week of April, but ahead this debut, Kia has recently released the initial teaser picture of its new Optima (codenamed as JF) ahead of the Geneva debut.Kia describes the “Elegant Energy” vehicle only as a D-segment concept. But mysteriously, the vehicle only showed its shape until the end of driver’s door or B-pillar.A study from Motoring.com.au understands the notion car you can see here is in fact a concept that previews both, the next-gen Optima sedan – to appear within the Big Apple in April – and Kia Optima wagon, which is why the rear half of the car remains hidden. “The concept has been produced as a versatile and spacious accessory to an active lifestyle, like a purposeful, energetic design study for the style-conscious, and as a sanctuary from the stresses in the modern world,” said Kia.Both Optima models will gain the latest reinterpretation of Kia’s family “Tiger Nose” grille, as seen on the Geneva concept, where Kia says that are both “confident” and “powerful”.The interior quality will receive another step forward, like in the new generation Kia Sorento, and looking at the spy picture, the 2016 Kia Optima may have new 8? inch infotainment system under chromed bar, getting all of the attention from your new leather-wrapped dash, new infotainment and air controls. The 2016 Kia Optima will use exactly the same steering wheel we saw in the Sportage spy shots.The concept looks to get close to production ready and points to an alternative family of mid-size models from Kia, including sedan, wagon and possibly coupe derivatives, powered by petrol, turbo-petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.image image Press release Kia Motors Europe will unveil an innovative new concept, the Kia SPORTSPACE, at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015.Created for long distance driving, the SPORTSPACE has become designed for fast and efficient travel with maximum comfort and minimal stress, inside the best grand touring tradition of the weekend getaway.Designed at Kia’s Frankfurt design studio, underneath the direction of Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe, the SPORTSPACE features a unique and captivating body shape. The car arrives out of a commitment to provide stylish and exciting transportation for four which is also spacious and functional, without having to sacrifice the performance, economy and sustainability that Kia is known for. Recognisably a Kia due to its signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, finely judged proportions and simple, clean surfaces, SPORTSPACE has a bold, dynamic shape with real road presence. At the same time, it provides a high measure of interior comfort and substantial practical load space.Don’t wish to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness,” explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe, despite the fact that “We set out to design an auto that is a totally new type of grand tourer – one for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend.


  • Top Things You’ll Want For Being a City Person in a Big City

    City living isn’t for everyone, and most of the reasons why are because of logistics. When you’re crammed into a city, there’s a lot of stuff you have to sacrifice and you have to be willing to be around people all the time. Other people are constantly up in your space making your day to day life more difficult. It’s a miracle everyone doesn’t just move to the country. In fact, an ideal life would be to live in the country, and near a city, sort of like Nashville. But most of us can’t live there so we have to deal with one or the other. Each poses a set of advantages and disadvantages. However if you are a city person, there are some things you can do to make it a bit easier on yourself. And mostly that’s just a matter of convenience. Here are some things you need to make your city life less annoying.

    Small Car


    You’re going to want to get a small car, that’s for sure. You see these people driving these massive SUV’s all around to the super market and you just wonder how on earth they ever find a parking spot. The truth is they seldom do, and sometimes they just have to park on top of another car, or on a motorcycle, or in the green strip between two lanes of traffic. You’re going to want a small car – not something like a Smart Car, those are terrible. But something like a Prius-C – those things are perfect city cars. If you test drive one at San Diego Toyota I’m pretty sure you will fall in love, like I did. I saw mine first at www.toyotaescondido.com and am so thankful that i got a nice tiny city car, and its incredible gas mileage is an additional blessing.

    Good Walking Shoes


    Nothing kills a day worse than having mega blisters in your feet after walking all around the city. You should definitely invest in a good pair of sneakers if you’re going to be hoofing it around the town doing errands and visiting friends. Nothing is worse than having to walk somewhere and realizing you’re in incredible pain because you’ve been walking too much, and you know you’re going to have a few cocktails so you can’t drive. It’s a big mess. Get good shoes and you’ll be all set.

    Smart Phone


    You can’t live in a city without a smart phone, ideally an iPhone 5 or 6. Let’s be honest, everything we do in the city uses the smart phone features. You can get instant directions to a new restaurant, or send a pin of where you are to your friend so they can meet you. You don’t have to waste a lot of time triangulating where you and your amigos are. Also, you can use it for Lyft and Uber to get from place to place. Don’t live in the past, live in the now.

  • New Hyundai Tucson Top 4,000 Orders in 4 Days


    Hyundai just announced a few days ago the launch od the All-New Tucson for the South Korean local market. After 4 days, preorders for new Hyundai Tucson have reached 4,200 units in just four business days.My opinion right from the launch event in Berlin was that Hyundai has succeed with this model. The car looks better than ever, with a bold and premium design, a huge prominent Hexagonal front grille. The interior is a mix of latest Hyundai models, with a center console inspired by the Santa Fe, a steering and speedometer directly from the Sonata. LED tailights follow how we saw on the i20 and will see on the Elantra. (you can read all info about the Tucson here).About engine line-up, the surprise are definitely the inclusion of your 1.6 T-GDi with 180 hp and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Within the diesel side, improved 1.7 CRDi 116 hp, will be the most desired into European market and also in the South Korean market, half of the preorders have been for any downsized version of the Tucson with a 1.7-liter diesel engine aimed at the compact SUV market, a Hyundai employee said. A 2. with 190 and 136 hp will complete the diesel range.The SUV will probably be released next week. The excitement of the new Tucson is seen as a solution to its enhanced safety features, which include autonomous emergency braking along with a lane-keeping assist system made to prevent unintended lane departures.

  • Defining a car hauler


    Mention “truck driver” to the general public and the cartoon image of a burly, half-educated, unshaven, brawny lout is conjured up. Deserved or not, that is the unfortunate stereotype…but what really is a truck driver and particularly a car hauler?

    A car hauler is a guy expected to put anywhere between 6 and 12 motor vehicles in a box 75 feet long and 13 and a half feet high. The box is about 3 times the size of a normal house garage, the sides of which the average motorist finds himself scraping from time to time.

    On newer equipment types, he places his 195 linear feet of cargo in his 75 foot container by manipulating approximately 23 valves, which activate almost 45 hydraulic cylinders or screws, which in turn place head ramps, cantilevers, stands, and decks in position to complete the loading puzzle. He is working with tolerances which consider 3 inches “all kinds of room,” and he practices his art in all kinds of weather.

    When he is through with the loading process, he finds himself with a package which from the standpoints of height and length, is at the fringes of legal limits.

    He is the biggest thing on the road with bridges, tree limbs, detours and road construction posing a constant threat. In all types of road conditions, daily commuters see him as an obstacle to be avoided at all costs. Although he may be lost, looking for a dealer he’s never been to before, in bumper to bumper traffic, concerned with overhead objects which may pop up at any time, he receives that amount of sympathy normally reserved for reptiles. He is cut in front of, cut inside of, tailgated and sudden stopped.

    With the complexities of loading behind him, possibly terrible weather conditions and maybe even a breakdown or two, he frequently arrives at his destination only to find outrageous unloading conditions and hostile car checkers (if he can find them). Yet he is expected to maintain his composure because public relations are also a big part of his job. And when he finally gets his last unit off, he often proceeds to another terminal to pick up his backhaul and start all over again.

    The next time you’re inclined to think of our drivers in those old cartoon images…ask yourself if you could do their job. Not many of us can, and for you to continue your job, he, God bless him, must continue to do his. Being a professional car hauler is not given to many, and one who has made it, is entitled to all your respect and admiration.

  • Buying Your Car Locally


    Buying local has become a hot topic lately. There are plenty of people out there working to support the small businesses in our communities. People love to eat at locally owned restaurants and shop at local stores. But have you ever thought about how buying your car locally could impact your community? If you buy from a Honda dealer in Lemon Grove, rather than going out of town, it can greatly help your community.


    Buying local is helpful in a lot of ways. It directly affects the people in your community. The people who work at your local dealership are your neighbors and the money spent their goes into their paychecks. They, in turn, put the money back into your neighborhood when they spend it at local restaurants and stores. And buying a car locally isn’t like eating at a local restaurant once in a blue moon; it puts a great deal of money into the economy all at once.
    Buying your car locally also benefits you in another way that you might not put much thought into prior to buying a car. Anytime you buy a new car, it generally comes with a warranty that requires you have routine maintenance done at the dealership’s service center for the first few years you have the car. Failure to do this means that the terms of your warranty are violated and that your car is no longer covered, should it have any issues. This means that you’ll be visiting the dealership you bought the car from regularly for several years. Buying local can help your community in a variety of ways. Visit www.tiptonhonda.com to get acquainted with your local dealership and see all the different cars and services that they currently offer in your town.

  • When to change your car’s power-steering fluid


    Replacing power-steering fluid generally is not listed among the regular maintenance items that should be performed, so on most vehicles replacing it is at the owner’s discretion.

    When you take your car in for routine service you may hear an urgent pitch for having your power-steering pump flushed and filled with fresh fluid because the current fluid has turned dark. Bear in mind that engine oil and transmission fluid also become darker after a while, so a deeper shade of red doesn’t mean the power-steering fluid is bad. Before you jump at paying for this service, see what your owner’s manual or maintenance schedule says. You probably won’t find mention of changing the fluid.

    You should check the power-steering fluid reservoir monthly to make sure it has the proper amount and that the power-steering system isn’t leaking. Reservoirs on many vehicles are the see-through plastic type, so you don’t even have to remove a cap to check the level. Consult your owner’s manual for the location of the reservoir in the engine compartment for help. You also should check the manual for the type of power-steering fluid that is required. The manufacturer may call for a specific type of fluid instead of a generic type found at parts stores.

    Losing sleep worrying about the power-steering fluid in your vehicle because of its appearance or age? You could refresh it without draining all the fluid and flushing the system, but that may be more complicated than you’re comfortable doing yourself (or paying for). Instead, find a turkey baster that will fit inside the reservoir and drain as much old fluid as you can. Then, you can refill it with fresh fluid to the proper level. You won’t get all the old fluid, but do this a few times and you should be able to replace most of it.

  • The 2016 Scion iA could live up to your expections


    Competes with: Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa, Kia Rio
    Looks like: The next-generation Mazda2
    Drivetrains: 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions
    Hits dealerships: Fall 2015
    Price: Scion says it’ll start around $16,000

    Related: More 2015 New York Auto Show Coverage

    Toyota’s youth-oriented brand hasn’t exactly achieved cool-kid status. Scion’s sales have been lackluster, but the automaker is hoping a new sedan — its first — will give the brand a boost in popularity. The 2016 iA debuts at the 2015 New York International Auto Show with sporty styling, a host of standard safety features and an affordable base price.

    Scion’s first-ever sedan should look a little familiar. The subcompact iA shares the new 2016 Mazda2’s platform; the iA even imitates the Mazda’s shark-nose face.

    In profile, the sedan doesn’t stand out, but its face changes that. The iA’s huge hexagonal lower grille and angular headlights are striking. A piano-black bumper and plenty of chrome trim dress it up; it rides on standard 16-inch wheels.

    Inside, the Mazda theme continues with a dashboard-mounted multimedia screen front and center. Scion says the new sedan’s cabin wears premium chrome accents and soft-touch trim and surfaces.

    Standard features include Bluetooth streaming audio and connectivity, keyless entry with push-button start, two USB ports and a 7-inch touch-screen multimedia system with voice recognition and app integration. In back, there’s a standard 60/40-split folding backseat; navigation is optional.
    Under the Hood

    The sole engine is a 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder. It pairs with a standard six-speed manual or available six-speed automatic transmission. With the automatic, a Sport mode is available for “”greater torque feel,”” the automaker said in a statement. Scion estimates fuel economy at 33/42/37 mpg city/highway/combined.

    The iA will have a standard safety feature that’s a unique inclusion for an affordable, entry-level sedan: a precollision system that uses a laser sensor and alerts the driver to an impending low-speed crash and automatically applies the brakes. A backup camera is also standard.

  • How To Act Like The Dude You Want To Be in Hollywood

    Hollywood is a crazy place. It’s one where you can’t just be yourself, that’s the worst thing you can possibly be. You have to be what you want to be, you have to act like the future you, so that you can become that. What’s terrible about that is you start being a monster, this terrible version of a human, some shell on the outside that inside is just calculating on a daily basis about how to become what you think you want to be, but what all your friends and family will loathe. This is why Hollywood folks date and hang out with only other Hollywood folks, because the shells can attract and the insides don’t matter, and the people with actual substance are left out of the equation so no one is there to call attention to the fact that they are all shallow little non human sort of robots. If you want this, and the money and fame that goes along with it, listen up.

    Dress the Part


    You have to change your insides of course, but you also have to change your outsides so people will know that you are a Hollywood type. You can’t just wear the clothes you brought with you when you moved to Hollywood. That’s for the folks you left behind at home. You need to change your wardrobe around to match the new you, the you you wanna be. Go to fancy places and buy really nice clothes, like $200 jeans, and fancy shoes. Do not forget to get a nice pair of shoes. There’s a lot of quick judgment that can be made about the shoes. If you need to max out a credit card, do it, it’ll pay off in the long run.
    Fancy Car


    You need a car that can get the job done, not just getting you from your apartment in the Hills to the studio, but can impress the show folk once you get to the studio. So don’t snooze on getting a fancy car. Go to Glendale Ford and shop around – there are some pretty fancy Fords these days and it won’t break the bank. You can put fancy clothes on a credit card, but you don’t need to go crazy on a car just yet. The Teslas are in your future, but in your present you need a good fancy but reliable car. Check out what the options are for you on www.sunrisefordnoho.com. You may be surprised about what you can get.

    Always Smile


    You can’t get anywhere with being a jerk on the outside, so always flash those pearly whites and be a schmooze everywhere you go. You have no idea who is behind you in line at Starbucks, or who’s near you. Meet everyone, be always smiling, and always have your head shots and business card ready to hand out. Sleep with anyone and everyone. Just go for broke and you’ll make it. If you’re not going all in, you’re not even trying. You can make your dream happen if you just buckle down and make it happen.

  • Here’s the reason why 2014 Cherokee’s Engine is replaced by Jeep


    Jeep replaced the engine in our 2014 Cherokee. Here’s why.

    It seemed simple enough. Drop off Cars.com’s long-term Cherokee at our local dealership to diagnose an occasional drivability issue and get the oil changed. Our Cherokee had thrown a tantrum a few days earlier where the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine stalled multiple times, but, of course, it was driving perfectly fine en route to the dealership.

    Related: Follow Cars.com’s Long-Term Fleet

    We thought maybe the Jeep needed a software flash update to the engine’s computer, or maybe a rat had chewed through an engine harness while the SUV sat outside in these cold Chicago temps, as had happened to our Chevrolet Volt. The last thing we expected to hear was that our Cherokee was getting a new engine at only 13,300 miles. After all, the four-cylinder didn’t spectacularly fail in a burst of shattered pistons and connecting rods leaving us stranded on the side of the road. We drove the Cherokee into the service bay under its own power, as it was operating fairly normally.

    What the technician found there was surprising, though: excessive amounts of oil had crept into the intake side of the engine, coating the intake manifold, hoses and an engine management sensor.

    We’re not talking about a light coating of oil residue. Oil drained from the intake manifold partially filled a cereal-bowl-sized plastic dish. The Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor, a vacuum sensor mounted to the intake manifold that’s used to communicate fueling information to the engine’s computer, was also covered in oil, as were the insides of the engine’s crankcase ventilation hoses. Our Cherokee’s engine was approximately 2.5 quarts low from the manufacturer-required 5.5-quart capacity.

    The dealership put in hours with the Mopar Technical Call Center, a repair hotline for dealers to handle issues like ours that don’t have a previously known diagnosis. Our car was charting new ground in Cherokee breakage without a previously recorded instance of similar symptoms. After all types of tests, including internal compression and cylinder leak-down tests to ensure the engine’s internals were sound, the decision was made to replace the engine and ship it back to Jeep for further diagnosis. We received a new engine along with every air intake part replaced, at no charge to us.

    “Replacing the engine is [a] very rare thing to do,” said Ann Smith, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. spokeswoman. “The problem could very well be a one-off thing, but it’s something we need to look at, and if we need to change something on the line, we can do that, too.”

    We contacted a number of industry experts to see if there was any comprehensive accounting of how frequently engines are replaced, but we were unable to find any. However, J.D. Power and Associates provided details from both its Initial Quality Study and three-year Vehicle Dependability Study that show issues that may lead to an engine replacement are uncommon. Over the first 90 days of ownership these issues are extremely rare, one-fifth of 1 percent or less. Over three years, they account for one to two problems per 100 vehicles. However, the existence of these problems — like the engine stalling or not starting — doesn’t mean the engine will eventually be replaced.

    Our original engine, now back in Jeep’s hands, has undergone preliminary testing where they discovered lower than expected compression in one of the cylinders. We’ll provide an update as soon as we find out Jeep’s final diagnosis on what happened to our Cherokee’s four-cylinder.

    Some questions Cherokee owners may have:

    Will every Cherokee owner get a new engine?

    Smith said not everybody would get a new engine. “We are confident in the performance and reliability of the 2.4-liter. The engine went through all of our thorough testing. We have all of the service records in the field for the Cherokee, and your case was an unusual issue we haven’t seen before, which is why we went to that step of replacing the engine.”

    Did Jeep only do this because the Cherokee belonged to Cars.com?

    We believe our experience mirrored the process of a typical consumer even though our dealership and Jeep knew we were a media outlet. Smith assures us, “Your Cherokee got a new engine because it was determined to be the best fix per the normal dealer service process. The Quality and Service teams reviewed your case and confirmed the dealer service personnel took the right actions to diagnose and fix the vehicle.”

    What are the warning signs that my Cherokee’s engine might be in trouble?

    Our Cherokee’s check-engine light and engine stalling were good indicators it was time to visit the dealership. “”Anytime you see an engine service light in your cluster you want to get it checked out. When in doubt, check with the dealership,”” Smith said.

    What should concerned Cherokee owners do now?

    At the moment, our engine replacement seems to be an unusual case. Smith believes our problem will not affect the majority of Cherokee customers. “Keep in mind, Cars.com experienced something very unusual to take the rare step of replacing the engine. Bottom line, this is not an issue out in the field that a majority of customers will experience.”

    As of now, our Cherokee is back on the road and has accumulated 500 issue-free miles so far. The Jeep’s four-cylinder still clatters at idle and remains borderline underpowered, though the new engine revs much smoother than when we dropped the car off for service with the old engine. Through 2014, 40 percent of Cherokees sold are equipped with the 184-horsepower 2.4-liter; the optional 271-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 is the dominant engine in 60 percent of Cherokees. That is still thousands of new SUVs a month as the Cherokee has been a popular seller.

    We’d like to hear from other Cherokee owners if they’ve experienced a similar issue and what the fix has been.

  • Knowing how does the check engline light actually come on


    It’s what almost every motorist has to go through once in a while: the Check Engine light. If this warning light stays on, it means that your vehicle’s computer has detected a problem that can affect your vehicle’s fuel economy and emissions. Let’s look closer at why the Check Engine light comes on and explore your options on how to deal with it.
    First, shortly how it works. Your car has a computer (in the photo) that controls the powertrain (engine and transmission). This computer is called Powertrain Control Module (PCM). It works by monitoring signals from various sensors and adjusting the engine and transmission performance for better fuel economy and lower emissions. This computer has a self-testing capability (called ON-Board Diagnostic or OBD-II). When it detects a fault with one of the systems or sensors, it turns on the Check Engine light on your dash. At the same time, it stores the fault code in its memory. There are a few hundred possible codes.
    Engine computer or the ECM
    The engine computer or Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

    To diagnose the problem, your mechanic will have to connect a scan tool to your vehicle and retrieve the code from the computer. The code itself doesn’t tell exactly what part is defective, it only tells what system doesn’t work properly or what parameter is off. Your mechanic will have to do further testing to find the defective part. Once the problem is repaired, your mechanic will reset the Check Engine light.
    Of course, the repair could be costly unless it’s covered by the warranty. Is there any other way reset the Check Engine light? Is it safe to drive with the Check engine light on? What parts could be covered by the warranty? Is it possible to repair the problem DIY? We will try to answer these and other questions in this article.
    What needs to be checked first
    Gas cap
    Check if your gas cap is tight

    If you check your owner’s manual it will probably tell you to check if the gas cap is tight. This is because the Check Engine light may come on if your gas cap is not closed properly. Usually it happens soon after a fill-up at a gas station. If you did find that the gas cap wasn’t tight, close it properly and if there are no other problems, the Check Engine light will reset by itself after a day or two of driving. If the gas cap was tight, there is probably some other problem. If the Check Engine light came on after your car has been serviced, take it back to the repair shop and ask them to re-check it. If you are comfortable doing basic checks under the hood, check your oil level, see if the battery terminals are tight, if the air filter box is closed properly or if anything appears to be loose or disconnected under the hood. You can find a map of your engine compartment and instructions on how to check the oil level in the Maintenance section of your car’s owner’s manual.
    Is it safe to drive with the “”Check Engine”” light on?

    It really depends on what the problem is. It could be something minor, like a loose connector or low battery voltage, but it also could be a more serious issue that could cause more damage to your vehicle. In worse cases, a car may stall or lose power. We recommend to have your car checked out as soon as possible to be on the safe side. If the Check Engine light is blinking repeatedly, it means that the engine computer has detected that your engine is misfiring, which means that some of the engine cylinders are not working properly. Driving with a misfiring engine could damage your catalytic converter, which is a very expensive part. Check your owner’s manual, it will probably suggest to reduce power and have your vehicle serviced immediately by your authorized dealer.
    Common problems that can cause the Check Engine light to come on

    In older cars, it was typically something like a bad oxygen sensor, faulty mass airflow sensor, failed catalytic converter, worn-out spark plugs, ignition wires, a loose gas cap or a clogged-up EGR system. Newer cars have a lot more electronics, which means, many other things could go wrong too. It’s practically impossible to find the problem without at least scanning the vehicle and retrieving the stored code(s). On the other hand, once you know the code that caused your Check Engine light, it’s not that difficult to do some research and find out common problems for your car’s make and model that can cause the particular code.
    Where to take your car for repairs?
    Scanning the car computer for check engine codes
    A technician at at a dealership using a scan tool

    If your car is fairly new, taking it to the dealer makes more sense, as the repairs could be covered by the warranty. Dealers have factory-trained technicians that are familiar with common problems in their cars and have manufacturer-provided technical support. They have specific testing equipment designed for your car and original factory parts. On the downside, repairs at a dealership tend to be more expensive.
    Independent or franchise repair shops are usually less pricey, but a lot depends on the professional level of technicians, availability of proper testing equipment, latest service information and quality of replacement parts.
    Another popular option is to take your car to an independent shop or a mechanic that specializes in your vehicle’s brand. This is especially true for German or other European cars, since they have more complex electronics.
    Of course, there is always a DIY option. if you have sufficient mechanical knowledge and proper tools, all you need to start is to scan your car and find out the trouble code (DTC). Thanks to generous people that don’t mind sharing their knowledge, there is plenty of information, how-to guides and videos available on the internet. Not all problems can be diagnosed and repaired at home, but that doesn’t mean it is not worth trying.
    Where to scan your vehicle for free

    Some auto parts stores and independent auto repair shops offer to scan your car for free, in hopes that you will buy parts or do the repairs at their shop. Google ‘free check engine light scan’ + ‘ your town’ to find a shop that will scan your car for free. Some dealers and repair shops offer a free Check Engine light scan as a seasonal promotional. The Volvo Service for Life program, for example, includes up to one hour of computer diagnostics. Another option is to ask your friends and relatives. OBD-II scan tools are not very expensive and widely available. Many people have a scan tool in their households these days.
    Emission warranty

    A federal emission warranty covers major components of the emission control system such as the engine computer (PCM) and the catalytic converter for the period of 8 years or 80,000 miles (128,000 km in Canada). If your car has the codes related to the failed catalytic converter (e.g. P0420, P0421, P0430) check the emission warranty coverage details with your dealer. Read more about US Emission Warranty
    How to scan a car for codes if you have your own scan tool
    DLC OBD II Data Link Connector

    OBD II Data Link Connector

    It’s not very difficult to scan your car computer for trouble codes if you have a scan tool or OBD-II software and some technical knowledge.
    Step 1: Find the DLC Connector. Any car made after 1996, has a standard diagnostic OBD-II connector, which is in technical terms called Data Link Connector or DLC. The DLC is identical on all modern cars and should be located within three feet of the driver. Usually the DLC connector is located at the lower portion of the dashboard on the driver side, like this one in the photo. In some cars the DLC connector is hidden under a cover, but the connector still looks like the one in the photo (click on the image to enlarge).
    Scan tool connected to the DLC

    Connecting the scan tool

    In some vehicles the DLC connector might be near the fuse panel; in some Acura cars it’s hidden under an ashtray. In older Volkswagens the DLC connector is placed under the slide cover at the center console. Some cars have the sign ‘OBD’ marked on the DLC connector cover.
    Step 2: Connect the scan tool: Once the scan tool is connected, turn the ignition ON, but don’t start the engine. Follow the scan tool menus until you get to the “”Read Stored codes”” or “”Stored DTCs””. If your scan tool can access the freeze frame, check it too, it may help. Read more about the Freeze Frame below. Check the scan tool manual for details.
    Trouble code displayed on a scan tool screen

    Trouble code displayed on the
    OBD-II scan tool

    Once the fault code is retrieved, more testing will be needed to find the defective part, as the code only indicates the parameter that is out of range. Often a car may have multiple codes. For example, as you can see in this photo, this car has three codes: P0101 – Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Range/Performance, P0140 – O2 Sensor No Activity Detected Bank 1 Sensor 2 and P0171- Air fuel mixture too lean. None of the codes actually points directly to the defective part. Upon further testing, we found that dust on the mass airflow sensor caused all three codes. Cleaning the mass air flow sensor solved the problem.
    Where can I buy an OBD-II scan tool or software?
    Using scan tool software
    Using scan tool software

    An OBD-II scan tool can be bought at most auto parts stores, or online. A simple OBD code reader may cost anywhere from $25 to $50. A more advanced scan tool with wider capabilities costs from $150 to $350. You can also buy an OBD-II adaptor with the software for your laptop. There is even an OBD-II Android app, but it requires a separate Bluetooth adaptor that plugs into the DLC connector. It’s a $10-$20 part that can be ordered online.
    An OBD-II scan tool should work on any OBD-II (or EOBD in Europe) compatible car. It’s worth mentioning that an OBD-II scan tool cannot be used to diagnose the Airbag or ABS problems; your dealer is the best place to call for those issues.
    OBD trouble codes
    trouble codes
    OBDII trouble codes

    The trouble codes on all OBD-II cars are standardized and each code has the same meaning on all OBD-II cars. There could be some minor differences in the way different car manufacturers interpret the same trouble code, but the basic meaning is the same. A typical OBD-II trouble code starts with a letter that is followed by four digits. The letter “”P”” stands for powertrain, the letter “”B”” for body. For example, if the engine cylinder number 2 would misfire, the car computer (ECM) would turn on the “”Check Engine”” light and store the diagnostic trouble code P0302 in its memory. If you’d connect the scan tool, it would read something like: P0302 – Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected. Overall, there are a few hundreds trouble codes for the powertrain, but only about 40-50 codes are very common. You can read more what some of the common powertrain codes mean here: OBDII Diagnostic Trouble Codes
    How to diagnose a trouble code

    1. Check Technical Service Bulletins: To diagnose the Check Engine code, the first step is to check for common known problems that can cause that particular trouble code in this vehicle’s make, year and model. Car manufacturers periodically issue Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) that describe common problems for certain models. When a technician at a dealership or an independent repair shop scans your car and retrieves the trouble code, the first thing he or she is does is to check for Technical Service Bulletins. The TSBs are not freely available, but there are several websites where you can get access to TSBs and other repair information for a fee; see below. You also can use the power of good old Google. For example, search for ‘2001 V6 Honda Accord code p0401 bulletin .pdf’ and you may find a Honda bulletin in the .pdf format that describes the common problem that can cause the code P0401 in 2001 Honda Accord.
    2. Check for common problems posted by owners and experts: Again, Google can help. Try for example: code P0171 2004 Ford Explorer and you will find plenty of information including some videos. Similarly, if you have a Honda CR-V with the code P0134, the research will show you that very often the code P0134 is caused by a faulty front air/fuel ratio sensor. We also have many common Check Engine codes listed along with examples and common repairs; check here: OBDII trouble codes. The next step is to use the service manual for your vehicle.
    3. Follow the Diagnostic Flow chart in the Service Manual: A manufacturer’s service manual contains a list of trouble codes and a step-by-step diagnostic procedure for every specific code. A factory service manual is designed for skilled technicians and may require use of special tools and testing equipment. Check the list of websites where you can access a service manual below.
    Freeze Frame
    Freeze Frame
    Freeze Frame sample. Click for larger photo

    A freeze-frame is a snapshot of the engine and transmission parameters at the moment when the engine computer detected a fault and the trouble code was stored. The freeze-frame may show whether the vehicle was stopped or driven at a high speed, whether the air/fuel ratio was lean or rich and whether the engine was cold or fully warmed up at the time of the malfunction. The freeze frame is stored in the engine computer along with the trouble code. How can it be useful? Checking the freeze frame can help identify the problem faster. For instance, if you look at this image, this freeze frame for the code P0116 – Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Range/Performance indicates that the engine coolant temperature was -40F while the intake air temperature was 84F, which is obviously impossible. The engine temperature should be close to the ambient temperature (intake air temperature) if the car is just started or it should be a lot higher if the engine is warmed up. This means that the engine temperature sensor didn’t register the correct temperature. This was most likely caused by either a faulty engine temperature (ECT) sensor or poor connection at the sensor. Looking at this freeze-frame, you also can see that the car was idling at the moment this malfunction was detected (the engine speed showed 756 RPM) and the vehicle was stationary (Vehicle Speed at 0 MPH).