Tech Tips: 10 steps techs should take before clearing fault codes

Tech Tips: 10 steps techs should take before clearing fault codes

Sponsored by Noregon Systems

Fault codes, also known as diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), appear when an issue is detected within your heavy-duty truck or equipment. Clearing a fault code without addressing the problem can lead to recurring issues or missed opportunities for maintenance. Therefore, it’s important to follow these ten steps before you attempt to clear a code.

Make Note

First, make note of the fault code number and description for future reference when troubleshooting. By recording this information, technicians can easily identify the issue if it persists or reoccurs in the future.

Check for Recalls or TSBs

Check to see if the OE has released a recall or any technical service bulletins, also known as TSBs, related to the fault code or system. By checking for both of these scenarios, technicians can save time during the diagnostic process by following the OE’s recommendation for managing the issue.

Check for Accuracy

Consider whether any recent repairs or maintenance work may have contributed to the fault code and ensure that all work has been completed accurately.

Visual Inspection

Visually inspect the area or system related to the fault code, such as loose or damaged wires, or any other abnormalities that may be the cause of the fault code.

Check for Temporary Issues

Before clearing the code, check for temporary issues.

  • Turn off the engine
  • Wait a few minutes
  • Restart the truck to see if the issue appears

Review Real-Time Data Logs

If your diagnostic tool records real-time data, review the data logs for any abnormalities or patterns to help identify the issue. By identifying either of these scenarios, technicians can better understand what the root cause of the issue may be.

Manual Troubleshooting

Consult the truck’s service and repair manuals for troubleshooting guidance specific to the fault code and system or component it pertains to.

Component Testing

Perform component testing if the fault code relates to a specific component or sensor to check the component’s functionality.

Document Your Findings

Document your findings and keep detailed records of your troubleshooting process for the shop’s future reference. Doing so will allow your shop to decrease dwell time if the issue occurs.

Address the Root Cause

Finally, address the root cause. Once you have addressed the underlying issue responsible for the fault code, make the necessary repairs or replacements.

Please note that a technician should take important steps before clearing a fault code, and only after the technician is confident that the underlying issue has been addressed.

This article is sponsored by Noregon Systems.

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