No DTC Definition Found – What Does It Mean?

When an onboard diagnostics system in a car identifies a problem, it generates the relevant diagnostic issue code and often warns the driver by turning on a warning light or another indicator on the instrument panel.

Still, what if you receive a No DTC Definition Found error?

In case you don’t know what this error is, act as soon as possible, as it can’t notify you about problems in your car anymore.

This way, you will be in danger, sooner or later. This post will give you the answer. We will also explain why this problem occurs and how to fix it. Let’s dive right in!

What Is DTC Definition?

No DTC Definition Found

The term DTC stands for Diagnostic Trouble Code, referring to a code that is used to identify problems with heavy machinery or vehicles.

Whenever a fault is found, the vehicle’s OBD (onboard diagnostics) system generates a DTC.

This OBD system both identifies the issue and displays the DTC through obvious warnings like the lighting of a warning light.

It also makes it possible for external gadgets, like an OBD reader, to communicate with an automobile’s onboard computer system.

Simply put, a DTC detects and spots the location and nature of the problem. Unlike the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) that usually manifests as the check engine warning light, it merely informs you of a present problem.

You can read the DTCs by directly plugging a reader into a car’s port. It can be useful for drivers to have a rudimentary grasp of DTCs.

What Does No DTC Definition Found Mean?

There are two reasons why the engine light on your car can be on even when no codes have been recorded.

First, your OBD-II scanner might not be compatible with your car. Second, the lamp bulb of your warning light has a short circuit.

In the first case, since it can’t work with your car’s computer system, it won’t be able to read the DTCs that your car informed you about, leading you to receive this error message.

Sometimes, the scanner doesn’t work not because of its compatibility but its OBD-II blown fuse.

Regarding the short circuit issue, this is a failure when electricity inadvertently travels through the wiring of your car. Once your car faces this electrical problem, it won’t be able to show DTCs anymore.

As you can see, this is quite similar to the intermittent flashing check engine light problem, which we have covered in this guide.

What To Do When Encounter No DTC Definition Found Error

Here is what you can do to fix the problem.

Use A Different OBD-II Reader

As mentioned before, an incompatible OBD-II scanner might be the reason behind your problem. The market is flooded with inexpensive diagnostic scanners that can read the most elementary codes.

Still, they won’t provide you with all the information you need regarding the transmission or emissions system.

So, if you suspect this is the case, the first thing to do is to use another scanner to do the reading. Investing in a good-quality reader is a must to avoid paying for unanticipated auto repairs.

Keep in mind to pay attention to the product’s specifications before purchasing to ensure it is compatible with your vehicle.

Replace Warning Lamp Bulb

Let’s say the faulty lamp bulb is the cause of your problem.

Then, as you may figure out, replacing it with a new one is the solution. It would be best to take your vehicle to a repair shop and have it fixed.

The professional mechanic will do it in a blink, and your light will work as normal.

Notice that after the replacement is complete, tell your mechanic to do a test and read the DTCs to ensure the problem is gone.

How To Find The DTC Code

To find the DTC code, you will need a code reader or scan tool to plug into the diagnostic connector of your vehicle, which is often found under the dash next to the steering column.

When the PMC detects an issue, DTCs are recorded in its memory. The codes are represented as the 5-digit alphanumeric form for OBD II systems.

When using the reading tool, you will see the check engine light’s activation code or codes.

How To Read DTC

When you comprehend the code’s structure and accepted acronyms, you will be able to identify the region of your car where the code relates to. Here is how you read the DTCs.

First Character

The first letter of OBD-II codes identifies the component of the car that has a problem.

  • P – Powertrain. This includes transmission, engine, and related accessories.
  • C – Chassis. It covers mechanical functions and systems, which are braking, suspension, and steering.
  • B – Body. The components are primarily located in the passenger compartment.
  • N – Integration of networks and vehicles. Functions are controlled by the car’s onboard computer system.

Second Character

A number, typically 0 or 1, follows the first letter.

  • 0 – Standardized (SAE) code, additionally referred to as a generic or global code.
  • 1 – Code unique to the manufacturer, also referred to as enhanced code.

Third Character

When used with powertrain codes, this number identifies the problematic vehicle component.

  • 0 – Air and fuel metering, supplemental emission controls.
  • 1 – Air and fuel metering.
  • 2 – Air and fuel metering, injector circuit.
  • 3 – Misfires or ignition systems.
  • 4 – Extraneous emission controls.
  • 5 – Auxiliary inputs, idle control systems, and vehicle speed control.
  • 6 – Output circuit and computer.
  • 7 – Transmission.

Notice that the letters A, B, and C might also represent a hybrid propulsion system. Also, consult the definitions offered by your manufacturer for information on additional code families.

Fourth And Fifth Characters

A DTC’s final component is a number that pinpoints the specific issue you’re having. Any integer between 0 and 99 is acceptable.

For example, C0182 means chassis, generic, air and fuel metering, and the 2-3 shift problem.

The dealer or manufacturer that provided you with the truck or provided you with a lease is the greatest source for DTC meanings. Certain DTCs are unique to a particular vehicle.

Download the entire list on your device so you may access it at any time, even in places with patchy cellular coverage.

Alternatively, think about putting definitions into a software program for auto diagnostics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is No DTC Definition Found A Serious Issue?

Although the No DTC Definition Found error does not directly affect the operating ability of your car, it can still be a big issue in terms of maintenance.

As mentioned before, DTCs are used to notify you when a vehicle is having issues.

Suppose your vehicle encounters this error; it means the system will no longer be able to detect potential problems, making the issues get worse in the long term.

Hence, get your vehicle checked by a professional in case you face this error to avoid unwanted consequences.

Can I Clear A DTC Code?

Yes, you can. Clearing the codes will tell you that a car has been repaired and is now in good functioning order. If you want to perform this task, just apply the following steps.

  • Step 1: Connect your OBD-II reader to the vehicle’s diagnostic port.
  • Step 2: Turn your reader and car on.
  • Step 3: Once the DTCs appear on the reader, choose the Clear option.

The Bottom Line

What Is DTC Definition?

Now you know the meaning of the No DTC Definition Found error after reading our post. We have also provided you with the interpretation of the DTCs.

These codes might seem confusing at first, but you will get used to them after a while of practice.

Keep in mind that this fault-detecting system is very important to your car’s maintenance process.

So, once you suspect there’s something wrong with it, give it a check yourself or take it to your local garage as soon as possible.

This way, you can act immediately and keep your beloved car in good condition.

In case you encounter issues, remember that our comment box is always open for you.

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