How to Properly Erase OBD-II Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) in Automotive Repair

What is the best method for erasing stored OBD-II DTCs in automotive repair?

Technician A states that disconnecting the battery is the best way to erase stored OBD-II DTCs. Technician B states that disconnecting the battery may not erase stored freeze frame information or DTCs. Which technician is correct?

Answer:

Neither Technician A nor B is completely correct. Disconnecting the battery might clear the DTCs but not necessarily the freeze frame data, and it can also reset vehicle settings. A professional scan tool is typically needed to fully erase the error codes and associated data.

The question pertains to the procedure of erasing stored On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II) Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) in the context of automotive repair and maintenance. When it comes to clearing DTCs, Technician A suggests that disconnecting the battery is the best method, while Technician B highlights that disconnecting the battery may not clear the stored freeze frame information or DTCs.

Neither technician is entirely correct. While disconnecting the battery might reset the engine control module (ECM) and clear the DTCs, this method may not clear freeze frame data, and it can also reset all the other learned adjustments and settings in the vehicle's systems.

To properly erase DTCs, a professional scan tool is often required to completely delete the error codes and the associated freeze frame data. This ensures that other important information and learned settings are not lost. Moreover, some modern vehicles have systems in place that retain DTCs and freeze frame information even when the battery is disconnected to prevent loss of data.

← Exciting progress in project management How to acquire the sleeper simulant in destiny 2 →