Check Engine light to use OBD machine?

my van’s check engine light is on. The local Murray’s shop has the unit to check it out but does not know to use it. Any idea how to use it? Thanks for the help…

Plug the scanner into the diagnostic connector. Usually located under the dash, drivers side.

Turn the ignition to RUN position so the dash lights are on.

Some scanners are differnt. But most ask make, model, year, and sometimes the engine specification.

Once all that is formed, find on the menu CHECK FOR DTC’s, and push YES.


The unit I have has slightly different directions: turn the key to the RUN position (without starting the engine), then plug in the scanner. It’s an Actron Pocket Scan Plus.

i would consider taking ANY info you get through this shop lightly, since they don’t even know how to use the scanner.

if they will let you use it to read your own codes, then DON"T erase them, just read them, write them down and post them back here for a little help interpreting them.

DON’T erase them.

as noted, you plug the unit in. the plug is under the dash about knee level. it has a trapezoid shape (one way, goof proof) plug. plug it in, turn the key ON, but not start. and the machine should wake up and start. it will run a test, then when it is done, you press the ‘read’ button to get the codes. write down the actual code #, not just the brief wording.

don’t just start replacing parts, post the code here. there are some pretty savvy mechanics here who can help you decipher it. (and maybe keep you from doing unnecessary parts swaps and repairs.)

What kind of van are we talking about here??? Year, Make, Model, Engine size…


Thanks for the feedback guys. I tested it myself this morning after I could locate the socket. Its a 2000 windstar van. I posted the codes on new thread. Basically plugged the instrument( I guess its Actron), turned the key to run. The codes displayed were P0113, P0171 and P0174. I then erased them and run again, it said pass and when run again it gave only P0113. After that it again gave pass message. am I doing anything wrong here and any idea what these codes mean?

P0113 - IAT circuit high input
P0171 - System too lean (Bank 1)
P0174 - System too lean (Bank 2)

The computer reads voltage values from sensors and stuff. The iac (idle air control valve) voltage is high. This could be because the voltage to it is high, or the voltage from it is high.
If the iac is opened too much, it will lean the fuel/air mixture going into the engine. It may be doing this because it is stuck open, or told to stay open longer. If it’s stuck from oil and carbon deposits (possible), use a Carb/Throttle Body Cleaner in the throttle body throat and throttle plate. let it soak a few minuets. Start the engine and run it at a fast idle a few minuets.

IAT=Intake Air Temperature.

The Intake Air Temp sensor is located inside the MAF sensor. And because you’re getting codes P0171 and P0174 might be caused from a dirty MAF sensor. What I would try at this point is purchase an aerosol can of MAF sensor cleaner and give the MAF sensor a good cleaning. It might eliminate all these codes.


Here’s a picture of the MAF/ IAT sensor:,Mass%20Air%20Flow%20sensor/shopping/allResults.htm Disconnect the intake tube after the air cleaner. Spray the MAF Cleaner through the grill of the MAF. Reconnect and run, and test, the engine.

A code book accompanies the OBD testers. You can get your own OBD II tester from the Walmart or Autozone for abour $100. They are great to have because a computer tells you what the car is saying it is having a problem with. Sure beats mechanics or friends guessing at what is wrong.

Thanks for the responses. Can you tell me where this MAF sensor is located in 2000 windstar and how to find it? Any pictures available? Thanks again…