How to Check the Engine Light Code in a 2003 Camry


In 1983, Toyota eliminated the Corona and replaced it with the new Camry. The Camry was a front-wheel drive vehicle, unlike the Corona, which was rear-wheel drive. The original Camry came fitted with a 2.0-liter engine that produced 92 horsepower. The 2003 Camry also came standard with a 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine that produced 157 horsepower and had an optional 3.0-liter V-6 that produced 210 horsepower. The standardization of vehicle computer systems to Onboard Diagnostics-II in 1996, brought about a change in vehicle diagnostics. OBD-II diagnostics allow a user to plug in a simple scanner into the OBD system to check the engine light code in the 2003 Camry.

Things You'll Need

  • OBD-II scanner
  • Open the driver's door and adjust the seat back as far as it goes.

  • Look beneath the Camry's dashboard, directly under the steering wheel, and locate the OBD-II port. The connector has the same shape as the plug on the end of the OBD-II scanner.

  • Plug the connector on the end of the OBD-II scanner into the OBD-II port on the Camry.

  • Insert the key into the ignition of the Camry and turn the key to the "Run" position, but do not start the vehicle.

  • Press the "Scan" or "Read" button on the OBD-II scanner and observe as the scanner connects to the vehicle.

  • Notate all of the codes the OBD-II scanner displays. The codes display as a "P" with four numbers following, such as "P0420." Some scanners may even display a basic systems failure on the screen as well, such as "Small Evap Leak."

  • Turn the ignition to the "Off" position and disconnect the OBD-II scanner from the OBD-II port on the Camry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't delete the OBD-II codes until the repair is complete, as the information stored may be beneficial during a repair. Some auto parts stores rent OBD-II scanners with only a small security deposit.
  • The codes provided by the OBD-II scanner are only reference codes. Only proper function tests on the failed systems can provide an accurate diagnosis.

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