By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Kenny Wong is pretty handy when it comes to his cars.

“The occasional problem here and there causes us to find ways to fix it on our own and not take it to the shop because of the cost of car repairs,” said Wong.

But, it’s not always easy to know what’s causing the problem when the check engine light pops up.

Cars are so computerized, most mechanics use special devices to diagnose what’s wrong. And now anyone can get their hands on new do-it-yourself diagnostic code readers.

Car MD and Scan Guage II are two of the new Do-It-Yourself diagnostic tools that are affordable and simple to use.

Users just plug the device into the car’s diagnostics port located underneath the steering wheel. The device will then display a code.

After looking up that code online, you can decide if the problem is small enough to handle on your own or if you’ll have to head to the mechanic.

Keep in mind, here in Massachusetts, not all car manufacturers share the meaning behind the codes. So even with those numbers in your hand, you still might not know what’s wrong with your car.

“It doesn’t always lead directly to the answer but if you go to the mechanic at least with some level of knowledge you’re in a better position,” said Dan Edmunds from

It’s all in hopes of saving money down the road.


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