'05 Camry SE - check engine scanner said "VTEC"

Check with friends and coworkers. Basic code readers are pretty cheap and thats all most people need. Someone may have one.

Did the mechanics your wife took the car to provide her with a copy of the shop order? Did they write any detail on it, such as the exact codes? If so, post them here along with anything else they wrote and anything they charged her for and that’ll give us a place to start.

I don’t understand the logic of being willing to spend $80-$85 on a part swap guess when you could spend that money on a scan tool that will tell you why the light is on. The scan tool will be useful over and over again. If you guess wrong on the part, you’re out that money & time and likely will end up buying a scan tool/code reader then anyway…

I’ve heard this same thing about auto parts places not being allowed to read out the diagnostic trouble codes for their customers in Calif. I’m guessing there’s a reason for this. But I don’t know what it is. They’ll check the tire pressure for a customer, right? But not the codes?

Given the situation, what @TwinTurbo says is probably the best course of action, either pay a shop to do it for you, or purchase a compatible code reader so you can do it yourself. If you are concerned you may not be able to figure out how to use the scan tool, try Googling “How to use an automobile scan tool”, maybe you’ll find a UTube demo. Neither of my cars has OBD II diagnostics, but I expect just reading out the codes with your own scan tool isn’t very difficult. You just plug the scan tool into an existing connector under the dash, and out pop the codes on the display I expect.


“Someone” in CA, sued Autozone and the like for overselling products. They claimed that when they read an Oxygen sensor code for you, they sell you a new sensor whereas the problem might be something else, loose wire or whatever.

We all know that the motive for reading codes for free is to sell you parts, but like anything else “buyer beware”. The same logic could be applied to any ad on the media, they want to sell you something,

I can’t tell you how many times people have made me smile when they told me “it is against the law”. I used to practice law full-time (now I’m a law professor) and I knew I had an amateur on the other side when they told me that it was against the law. Rocketman

It would seem if there’s a problem at all, it is the over the top over-selling of unnecessary products, not the gratis reading of diagnostic codes.

Thanks for your advise…Mike

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