Thanks to fancy electronic control systems, sensors, and computers, modern cars and trucks are pretty darn advanced nowadays. And though that does add some complexity to your vehicle service routine, there are plenty of advantages for the home and professional mechanic.

One of the biggest is being able to read diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) straight from the vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU).

Yup, in the 21st century, your car can often tell you if it’s got an issue—it could be something as simple as an oil change or as serious as a cylinder misfire.

Innova makes a range of affordable automotive DTC scan tools that can be an invaluable asset to the home mechanic. (Image/The Innova YouTube Channel)

That’s where having a good DTC reader (also known as a “scan tool” or “code reader”) is a really smart move, because it can read those automotive diagnostic trouble codes and tell you how to resolve them.

But you’ve got to know how to use a scan tool first, which is where the scan tool experts at Innova come in. They’ve created a handy 101-style overview video on automotive diagnostic trouble code readers that covers how to extract those DTCs—and then how to decipher the code(s) your scan tool spits out.

So if you’ve got a car, truck, or SUV made in the past 20 years, it’s worth a watch.

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