April 26, 2017


Written by Steven Stollery


Check Engine Light

Fleet vehicles must feel like no one listens or pays attention to them. They can tell us all about their day, how they’re feeling and any problems they might be having. Seldom, however, do they know if anyone actually listens to them. They feel especially unappreciated if they’ve lit up their check engine light and been ignored.



Advanced vehicle diagnostic reporting features help fleet operators unlock valuable status and performance information from the vehicle’s on-board computer. This technology has been a windfall for fleet operators to help further manage performance and lower fleet costs.


The Plug N Track GPS OBD Vehicle Tracking device listens attentively to the vehicle’s on-board computer and reports trouble codes. This allows fleet operators to spot and resolve problems quickly and eliminate additional repair costs should these issues be left unchecked.


Vehicle issues used to require an experienced technician or consultation with mostly greasy unreadable manuals to correctly assess the symptoms. Today every mechanic must know how to retrieve and assess Diagnostic Trouble Codes. A typical vehicle can have up to 200 of them. These codes help identify a problem in any of the systems monitored by the vehicle's on-board computer. As newer vehicles are produced there are even more sensors built-in and DTCs assigned that provide ever more detailed assessments of vehicle performance.



The Check Engine Light is not a general purpose warning light. It’s only triggered if there was some kind of emissions-related fault code detected. There are many DTCs that do not relate to emissions and therefore will not activate a check engine light. Some minor fault codes may not turn on the check engine light either, rather they’ll simply be logged in the computer memory to be retrieved at a later date by a code scanner.


The check engine light will not display the code that triggered the event, the severity of the issue, what to do next, or what may happen if its ignored, which unfortunately happens all too often. Perhaps, a more concerning scenario is when your fleet driver does notice a check engine light, shuts the vehicle down or takes it to the garage not completing their work assignment without the benefit of knowing the extent of the problem. It may be a minor issue that could be serviced at a later date without further damage or expense.



Imagine if you could be notified the moment a trouble code is detected. Instead of relying on a check engine light or the driver, the diagnostic trouble code can be evaluated remotely the moment it occurs and determined if the vehicle should be immediately brought in for service, or, if the issue is not dangerous to the driver or vehicle, finish out the work day or week.


The Plug N Track OBDII GPS Vehicle Tracking device pulls diagnostic trouble codes directly from the on-board computer and can relay the code instantly to the driver and/or fleet manager with an alert either by text or email, and in advanced Plug N Track GPS reporting. The code can be quickly assessed and an appropriate action determined. Significant savings can be had from appropriate service measures from fault codes that your vehicle is so desperately trying to communicate with you about.


Operators of vehicle fleets are always on the lookout to cut costs, increase productivity, enhance safety and improve the service delivered to their customers. With the features of a modern GPS tracking system, there are plenty of ways to accomplish these goals. Using vehicle diagnostics data will not eliminate service and maintenance costs, but it will help lower them and make them more predictable. Instead of waiting for vehicles to break down, preventative maintenance and preemptive repairs can be done so that your customers will not have any interruption in service. Vehicles are also out of service less and useful life-spans pro-longed.


Want to see how diagnostic trouble code detection can help you improve fleet performance? Book a FREE demo today!


Let Plug N Track GPS help your fleet to be more productive and profitable!