Does AutoZone Read Codes? What Are Their Charges?

If you are like most car owners, you might be at the point where you are ready to throw your hands up in frustration and say “forget it” when your car gives you a check engine light. You might be tempted to bring your car in for repairs even when it is not necessary. After all, the check engine light can seem daunting (and expensive!).

However, before you let frustration get the best of you, there is another option available. A code reader can give you an understanding of what is wrong with your car quickly and easily! You will be able to fix little problems yourself or determine what needs to be repaired by a professional mechanic before they become big problems.

Apart from providing repair services, AutoZone provides diagnostic checks for your car so that you can reach your destination without any frustration.

How Does a Code Reader Work?

Almost every person that owns a car faces the same problem: a service light pops up randomly, and you have no idea what it means. It’s hard for most owners to diagnose exactly what’s wrong with their cars. And even if you do, it is often hard to locate the source code, which makes pinpointing the issue all that much tougher.

How Does a Code Reader Work

A code reader will help you make sense of what’s going on under the hood of your car so that you can identify problems and make repairs. It is one of the simplest diagnostic tools for your car that you will find helpful when your car gives you illuminating check engine lights. The code readers are designed to connect with your car’s computer system. Then, during the testing, the code reader uses its stored troubleshooting mechanism to trigger why the check engine lights are on.

In other words, code reader systems monitor various output and input sensors to determine if anything is out of order. If any sensor is triggering the problem, it turns out to be a “trouble code.” This code is then used in the diagnostic procedures, and every code translates into a specific engine fault. Depending on that, there are different types of codes, such as hard and soft, to show ongoing and occasional failures.

Reasons Why the Check Engine Lights Go On?

Your car consumes a lot of your money and time. Eating up hundreds of miles every year keeps you on the road for longer, but that’s not all it does. Many people develop an attachment to their cars. But do you realize there might be a problem with your car that you are not even aware of? And not just little sins here and there: the number of issues relating to misreads from your car is greater than you may realize.

Reasons Why the Check Engine Lights Go On

The horror stories we hear about prove that a vehicle fault detector is a must-have for any driver. However, what are the possible reasons behind turning on the check engine lights? Generally, there can be five causes behind the problem:

  • Failed oxygen sensor
  • Gas cap is loose or misplaced
  • Problem with the Mass Airflow Sensor
  • Poor catalytic converter
  • Misfires

Failed Oxygen Sensors

In your car’s exhaust system, an oxygen sensor can determine how much unreacted oxygen is present. These sensors can fail over 80,000 miles as they live a hard life in +800 degrees exhausting temperatures. Multiple engine codes can indicate a poor working of an oxygen sensor, but it cannot be necessarily linked to the oxygen sensor failure.

Gas Cap Is Free, Damaged, or Missing

A gas cap is present in the sealed evaporative emissions network, and it helps in recirculating the gasoline vapors and prevents them from getting out in the air. If you have accidently left the cap off, then the engine will give you check engine lights in no time.

What Can a Car Code Reader Do?

When you have done locating and connecting the OBD socket, your car’s computer system will link with the car code reader. Minimalistic code readers use an OBD-II connection for powering themselves when attached to the system. When you have built the link between both, you can do the following with the use of a car code reader:

  1. You can read car codes and clear them
  2. Analyzing basic parameter IDs becomes easy
  3. In addition to checking, you can reset readiness monitors

Does AutoZone Let You Use a Code Reader?

AutoZone can help you get the reading of your car yourself. For this purpose, you can borrow an OBD reader from their repair shop and run diagnostics. Notably, the process will take less than two minutes, and by then, you will understand why your car is giving you check engine lights.

Is a Diagnostic at AutoZone Free?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have a car breakdown in the hot sun with hundreds of miles? And, your mechanic says a few thousand more dollars are required because of something that he did not check under the last old checkup? We have all been there!

With AutoZone’s free Fix Finder service, you can now relaxingly check your car’s code for free. Many drivers do not know that AutoZone offers the service of reading codes on your check engine light besides other repairs. Therefore, you can avail of their testing service without spending a dollar and have your car checked up and repaired finely by their professionals.

How Long Does It Take for AutoZone to Complete a Diagnostic Check?

A standard diagnostic check can take you about an hour or so. However, if the car code reader pinpoints more complex issues, you might require further diagnosis. In this case, the mechanic might need to separate the components of your car for easy access and testing. Therefore, it can take two to three hours following the extremity of a single of multiple underlying causes.

Does AutoZone Read Codes & What Are Their Charges

Will AutoZone Reset Check Engine Light?

It is possible to reset your check engine light at AutoZone, but there are some things that you must be aware of. Just like most local auto repair stores, AutoZone will offer free code reading service for your car, but not all of their stores will help you clear the check engine light. Possibly, this is due to the liability issues.

Related Reading: Can Autozone Clear Codes?

Is It Safe to Drive With Check Engine Lights On?

If you assume driving your vehicle with the engine lights on, then driving your car for a few miles can comfort you a little. Therefore, you should not panic if the check engine light sparkles when driving. Nevertheless, you must schedule an inspection of your car’s engine promptly.

How Accurate Is AutoZone Diagnostic?

As is true for many other free of charge services, AutoZone’s free diagnostic check is not that reliable and trustworthy. What the repair shop offers in its “diagnostic check” is just hooking up the car code reader to your vehicle’s computer. Then, the scanner takes the readings through your car’s computer and indicates the trouble codes registered in the computer system.

Can You Borrow Tools From AutoZone?

If you have basic knowledge of car codes and want to test the vehicle on your own, you can think of using AutoZone’s tools. AutoZone prioritizes the care of people who take care of their vehicles, and therefore, they have a loaner tool program. After completing your task, you can return the tools to the AutoZone shop within 90 days. During this time, you are eligible to get a deposit refund. If not, you can also keep the tool. The balance of the price, however, will have to be paid alongside the deposit.

What Are the Limitations of Car Code Readers?

A car code reader is an efficient diagnostic tool for providing a jumping-off place for testing purposes. However, several reasons might be at the root of a single code that a code reader might represent. For this reason, professionals consider scanning tools to be far more reliable than code readers.

A professional testing technician can quickly understand and indicate the parts worth analyzing when using the car code reader. Moreover, diagnostic professionals use costly and complicated scan tools while diagnosing your car. They operate these tools with immense knowledge and testing instructions. However, you can refer to them online if you lack such huge information regarding scan tools, trouble codes, and troubleshooting. For example, if the code reader indicated an oxygen sensor trouble code, you can search for further diagnostic methods specific to your car’s model and make.


AutoZone provides diagnostic checks for your engine. So, if your check engine light is popping and your car demands an instant repair, you can head on to your nearby AutoZone. The store associates will help you diagnose the problem using their free Fix Finder Service.

Not only that, if getting your car checked up at AutoZone does not suit you, you can think of borrowing the tools as well. The repair store enables you to use their tools and return them within 90 days to claim a full refund. Next time, when your car shows some engine check demand, you can go to AutoZone instead of avoiding the lights!