Car Terminology: Discussing DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) and DTC Readers

August 22, 2008

The days of playing “guess-what’s-wrong-with-your-automobile” is long-gone. With most of the vehicles today being a lot smarter through computerization and better technology, auto repair and vehicle troubleshooting has become easier and smarter as well.

These days, you’ll notice more and more auto shops using handheld devices or plugging your vehicle into a console that lets the read the information from your engine system’s onboard computer. Most of the time, mechanics today read the DTC that they get from your vehicle.

So what exactly does DTC mean?

DTC, as you can already surmise from the title, is an acronym for “Diagnostic Trouble Codes”. Today’s computerized engine control system can up to a certain point self-diagnose to detect auto problems that could be affecting your vehicle’s emissions and engine performance. This also goes for the onboard systems and the antilock brake systems controlled by your engine’s computer.

When your engine control system detects a problem, the computer stores the diagnostic trouble code in its memory. This is the time that the “check engine” sign lights up. There are some automobiles today that can activate its special diagnostic mode by grounding some terminals found on the diagnostic connector. Doing so causes your “check engine” and other lights to flash out the problem code. But for most vehicles, to obtain the diagnostic trouble code, all you have to do is plug-in a diagnostic trouble code reader (DTC Reader) or scan tool into the computer system.

Finding A DTC Scan Tool or Reader

If you’re nowhere near any fully-equipped auto repair shop then you’ll be glad to know that there are many companies offering Diagnostic Trouble Code Readers and scan-tools at economical prices. The most inexpensive variants should cost you just around $60. Of course, the more advanced the device is, the more expensive it tends to be. If you can’t purchase your own DTC reader, then another option is to rent one from a rental center or an auto parts store.

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Top Ten Common Problems: Jump-Starting Your Car Using a Lighter Connection

April 4, 2008

In relation to the previous post on jump-starting a dead battery, here’s another way you can revive a dead battery—using your vehicle’s lighter connection. A number of manufacturers for truck accessories and car parts are peddling small, battery-jumping units that are designed to be plugged directly into the lighter socket found near the dashboard.

So now, instead of needing to connect your jumper cables to the car’s battery, you just have to take one end of your lighter-connected cable and plug it into the lighter socket of another fully functional and running vehicle. The other end of the cable can now be plugged into the lighter socket of the car with the bad battery. Power is then transferred through the cables, allowing the vehicle with the dead battery to start.The following are simple instructions on how you can use this handy device.

  1. Take one color-coded end of your cable and plug into the running vehicle’s lighter socket. Make sure the running vehicle has a fully-charged battery.
  2. Now, take the remaining end and plug into the lighter socket of the vehicle with the bad battery.
  3. Let the second vehicle charge for about five to 10 minutes. Make sure the cable is secured in place.
  4. After charging the second vehicle, try to start the vehicle with the problem battery.

Prices for this type of jumper may vary depending on the maker and the device’s capacity. For great deals on high quality car and truck parts, check out this website on discount auto parts.

Top Ten Common Problems: Reviving a Dead Battery with an Electrical Jump-Start Device

April 3, 2008

Extreme cold, just like leaving your car lights on for several nights, can wreak havoc to your car’s battery. A dead car battery can be such a hassle, especially if your battery gives out in the middle of nowhere, long past midnight.

When faced with this situation, the common solution is to find another vehicle and to use ordinary jumper cables to jump-start your battery. However, great innovations in the world of automobiles have allowed for a handier solution—one that won’t require another vehicle’s live battery to jump-start your car.

There are great car parts and truck accessories manufacturers that offer durable and dependable jump-start devices designed to make jump starting your car’s battery a lot easier. Each jump-start device is smaller than a car battery making it a lot more convenient to have around—at least compared to another vehicle’s live battery. True, the unit may be a bit heavy, but all jump-start units come with handles making them a little easier to lug from your house to your garage and back again.

Aside from no longer needing another vehicle to jump-start your battery, most jump-start units come with built-in cables, so you won’t need to bring your jumper cables every time you go out. All you have to do is recharge this device to make sure it has enough power to jump-start a dead battery.

Charge this device by simply plugging it into a regular wall socket and letting it charge overnight. After charging the device, you can now use it to jump-start your battery.

Although the exact instructions may differ depending on the jump-start device’s brand, the following should cover the basic steps on how to recharge a car battery using this handy device:

  1. Bring the device close to the vehicle
  2. Take the built-in cables and attach them to the right battery posts
  3. Allow the unit to charge your battery for a minute or two (or the time indicated in the device’s manual)
  4. Start your car to see if it works

Portable jump-start units or devices are usually priced between $70 and $100. Click on the link for discount auto parts.

Failed emission test–not the end of your life on the road

February 21, 2008

Smoke belching vehicles definitely have no place in countries with high emission standards. The vehicles sold and used in these places that are under the umbrella of the European Union have to strictly comply with the high emission standards. Some states here in the America are close to following such rules as well. Of course, not all of us can go to a dealership and buy a new car with less noxious emissions, right? Do not fret if you failed an emission test or if your auto is guilty of emitting Carbon monoxide, Hydro carbon, and the like, because there are special auto parts that can help you pass that test.

I know several auto parts that can just do the trick and keep your vehicle emit less of those noxious gases. The first thing on my mind is the catalytic converter. Most of the latest models now are equipped with this component, but there are still some unfortunate cars like yours that are cat con-free. Catalytic converters are available in high-end shops as well as discount auto parts warehouses, it’s up to you and your pocket. Anyway, the cat con will be part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. Strategically installed right before the tail pipe, this component treats the engine’s exhaust fumes before it is released to the air we breathe. The cat con you’ll install will all depend on your car’s specifications. Another thing your auto can use is an oxygen sensor or a cold air intake. Both of these make sure that your engine does combustion efficiently. With a good combustion, there is lesser production of noxious gases.

It’s all up to you whether you like a cat con, a cold air intake, or an oxygen sensor for your smoke belching vehicle. If you ask me though, the catalytic converter is on top of my list and then if you get your next pay check, maybe you could give your car the other eco-friendly auto parts I mentioned. Once your ride is fully-geared, your vehicle can surely ace that emission test.

The E-Stores Offering Quality Auto Parts

September 19, 2007

As an auto mechanic (at least for your own car), you should know where to get the right auto parts for those vehicles. If you don’t have any auto part at hand, you’ll never be able to begin your duties as an auto mechanic. So the first crucial step is definitely getting those quality auto parts ready. Here’s a list of reliable online auto parts suppliers:


The cooling system of your vehicle’s engine definitely needs a quality radiator to disperse the heat produced by the engine. There are two ways of ensuring that your radiators are working in good condition. First, furnish them with radiators that are of superior quality. However, no matter how efficient a radiator is now, it will encounter mechanical defects sooner or later. So, the second way of ensuring a quality radiator is by having a defective radiator replaced. Whether it is a quality auto radiator you’re looking for or just a replacement, is the site that can absolutely help you. provides radiators for various car models such as Acura, Volvo, Toyota, Saab, Mitsubishi, Lexus, and Mercedes. This e-store also offers free shipping, making every purchase of auto radiator truly reasonable.



If you’re dearest Jaguar vehicle suddenly breaks down because of problem in one of its parts, you need not worry. is an online auto parts store offering various sorts of jaguar parts. Purchasing auto parts through this e-shop is certainly more practical than going directly to auto shops. You’ll definitely benefit a lot from it. First, there is a fast delivery of Jaguar parts. You can be sure that you’ll receive the package you bought the very same day you placed your order. For your convenience, is also open 24 times a day 7 days a week. Moreover, this e-store offers valued customers a lot of great discounts, and free shipping for orders that are at least worth 50 dollars.



Original Nissan parts sold at significant discounts are what is very proud of. But aside from the discounts, this e-store helps educate vehicle owners. From Nissan cargo liners to Nissan radiator hose, provides customers with the right information about different Nissan parts. Moreover, the site features news about Nissan automobiles.



If your automobile is a Cherokee or a CJ, you’re probably always having trouble in finding quality Jeep parts. is an online auto parts shop that can definitely take away your worries. It offers sturdy jeep parts at very reasonable prices. Furthermore, it provides information about each jeep part it sells.



Searching for Auto Parts Online

September 18, 2007

Though you shelled out an extremely big amount to buy your brand new vehicle, the time will definitely come when it has to undergo repair. In due course, the various parts of your precious automobile will face different kinds of deterioration. Bearing this in mind, you will realize that maintaining your automobile also entails the thorough process of having to replace every malfunctioning auto part. To match the performance of your automobile, you must make certain that the replacement you get is also of high quality.

Gone were the days when you still have to personally visit an auto part shop just to buy a few devices for your out of order automobile. In this modern world, a lot of vehicle owners and mechanics have learned an easier way of purchasing auto parts. If you are looking for Nissan parts, you need not hurry to get to the nearest Nissan auto parts depot. There are various stores online that offer great discounts for quality Nissan parts.

the fun of buying online

How Does an Online Auto Parts Shop Work?

Online auto part shopping is the trend in the modern world of automobile owners and mechanics. It is basically a process of buying the auto parts you need through the Internet. No need to leave home. Even by just sitting in front of your computer, you can purchase a new Nissan headlight cover or a Jaguar head gasket. You just have to scout for a great online auto part shop. Also called e-shop, e-store, and online store, the online auto part shop offers a vast array of auto parts and accessories. Certainly, just a few clicks on your mouse today will allow you to safely obtain those jeep parts you purchased in just a couple of days.

Some Advantages of Buying Online

You actually benefit a lot from making an online purchase of auto parts. Online shopping not only saves your energy but also your money.


Not many brick-and-mortar auto parts stores regularly offer great discounts. This is not the case in online auto parts stores, which regularly present great price cuts. Because of the discounts offered, you can save a few dollars in buying that Jaguar brake pad with the same excellent quality.

Reasonable Delivery Price

The shipping fee of most online auto parts stores is less expensive. There are some that even offer free shipping. If the Nissan parts or jeep parts you purchased are in big quantities, the online auto parts store may no longer charge you with shipment fee.

So in buying those jeep parts, Nissan mufflers or Jaguar spark plugs, choose the more convenient way. Every vehicle owner should know how to make the right online auto parts purchase.