DTC Definition Not Found | What Does It Mean by DTC Code

Dtc stands for diagnostic trouble code. It usually occurs when some vehicle’s on-board diagnostics scheme detects a breakdown or any failure. The appropriate DTC code generally alerts the driver using a warning light or other gauge on the vehicle’s tool panel. DTC codes or Diagnostic Trouble Codes help the user comprehend what needs to be fixed to drive safely, and their car remains in a good state. This article will clear you regarding dtc definition not found.

DTC definition not found

DTC definition not found

What does dtc mean? Well, as mentioned earlier, a DTC code is a sequence of diagnostic trouble codes used by a vehicle’s OBD scheme to alert you when your automobile experiences a malfunction. Special DTC codes symbolize explicit tribulations in your motor vehicle. When your vehicle’s OBD arrangement detects some problem, it simply generates a detailed DTC code like P0300 code and sends out the alert to the vehicle’s tool section as a warning light. Usually, the cars are prepared with a telematics structure. With the use of this scheme, the alert conveys straightforwardly to the fleet. The system is set up to transport the alert correctly to the maintenance unit.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) shaped all such codes to assist vehicles in observing emission rules. The cars with manufacture date is 1996 or newer; it will most be expected to be OBD-II compliant. Each time the arrangement detects some problem like check engine light, it records that dilemma as a code. That code is acknowledged as a (DTC) diagnostic trouble codes. DTC code or OBD-II or J1939 trouble codes are the codes that the vehicle’s OBD scanner uses to inform people about a problem in their car. Each code communicates to a slipup perceived in the vehicle. Once the vehicle’s mainframe detects a situation that requires the user’s attention, it will stimulate the subsequent trouble code.

Concept of DTC in a Vehicle

The engine control module (ECM) works as the key computer on all the latest model vehicles. It is also generally referred to as the power train control module or engine control unit. Suppose your vehicle’s ECM is straightforwardly associated with your corporation via an app, gateway, or telematics. In that case, you can easily find out in real-time from your office or home what’s going on with the vehicle and what needs to be done.

What does no DTC Definition Found Mean

You have often heard the term “no dtc definition found,” but only a few people know what it is. Many people face this error, “DTC not found,” but they cannot understand what it means and what its purpose is. If your your vehicle’s engine light is ON, but there are no codes found, it is because of two possibilities. The first one is whether the OBDII scanner you are using is not attuned with your automobile. The second possibility is that a short circuit on the locomotive light warning lamp bulb. Check both things and get the desired solution to manage things well.

How Can I read a DTC Code?

Keep this noted that diagnostic trouble codes are around five characters long. Each character provides a particular portion of information about the vehicle’s problem. The initial character is always a letter. This letter points to which control scheme has a problem.  For getting the accurate result, you need to purchase good quality tool like Autel Scanner. It contains the following promising DTC code list, values, and meanings:

  • U (network) – It refers to the vehicle’s on-board mainframes and allied systems.
  • P (powertrain) – refers to the transmission, engine, linked accessories, and fuel system.
  • C (chassis) – This letter refers to motorized systems, usually exterior the passenger section, such as suspension, braking, and steering.
  • B (body) – It refers to parts mostly set up in the customer compartment area.

The second character in the automobile diagnosis code

Similarly, the second character in diagnosis is a digit. It typically ranges from 0 code or 1. The purpose of this letter is to show whether the code is unvarying or not.

  • 0 – This letter in the diagnostic trouble code indicates that the code is general and a standardized SAE code like P0011 code. Keep in mind that all the generic codes are approved by cars that trail the OBD-II set.
  • 1 – This number indicates that the code is motor vehicle manufacturer-specific. All such codes are exclusive to an exact car make or model and are usually less common.
  • 2 or 3 – These letters are rare, and their meanings rely on the prior letter of the code. Usually, these letters indicate that a code is manufacturer-specific, with merely a small number of exceptions.

The third character

This third character in the code is also a digit. The range of this character varies from 1 to 8. The purpose of this character is to reveal that either the subsystem is at fault or not.

  • 1 – This number refers to the fuel or air metering arrangement.
  • 2 – This letter refers to the fuel or air metering injection arrangement.
  • 3 – This letter in the code refers to the ignition scheme.
  • 4 – It in the code refers to the emissions arrangement.
  • 5 – This letter in the code refers to the vehicle pace controls and redundant control system.
  • 6 – It in the codes refers to the mainframe output circuit.
  • 7 and 8 – Either of these letters in the codes indicate that the problem is transmission-related.

However, the code’s fourth and fifth characters are read jointly as a two-digit number among 0 and 99, recognized as the detailed fault index. All such characters recognize the literal problem of the vehicle.

DTC Scan Tool

Dtc usually occurs when some vehicle’s on-board diagnostics scheme detects a breakdown. It helps the user understand what needs to be fixed so that they can drive safely. Scanners such as LAUNCH Scanners that interpret DTC, identified as OBD-II scanners, are extensively accessible for purchase. But in case you are a fleet manager who is accountable for several vehicles, having to physically check each vehicle every time the engine light turns on can be ineffective and time-consuming. In such a situation, you need to choose a fleet management solution, like Samsara. Such solutions incorporate maintenance tools that formulate the whole identifying a DTC processer a lot easier and faster. This means in case a DTC occurs in your vehicle, and it will mechanically populate in your Samsara Dashboard. However, you can choose to be informed via an alert.


1.) What does DTC mean on a code reader?

It stands for Diagnostic Trouble Code. This code is used to spot malfunctions in a vehicle or heavy equipment.

2.) What is DTC number?

It is a number that helps assist transactions among financial institutions. This number is usually associated with the defrayal firm that your IRA curator uses.

3.) What is the DTC memory?

DTS memory is the memory space that is used when PCM recognizes and identifies some issue. Once it is done, a DTC for that liability is accumulated in its memory.

4.) What is a permanent DTC code?

A Permanent DTC code is the one that occurs when a DTC is confirmed, and the Malfunction Indicator Lamp has been clarified.


Mr. Rubel is an Engine Mechanic. He has more than 15 years’ experience on repair and maintenance of different kinds of vehicles. He is also providing training to mechanics and works as a Senior Mechanic of a well-known organization. He is sharing his knowledge to support the car lovers to solve the vehicle issues.

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