• CarMD is a data company with the goal of serving all years, makes and models. However, some data may not be available for vehicles prior to 1996.

    CarMD Legacy Tools (CarMD 2100 & 2110) Are designed to work on all 1996 and newer vehicles driven in the U.S., with on-board diagnostic second generation (OBD2 or OBD II) technology. If your vehicle is 1995 or earlier, CarMD will not work.

  • There are several places where the VIN may be located on your car. The VIN may also be found on your vehicle’s insurance card or vehicle title (DMV) records. Below are the most common locations to find the VIN number on your vehicle.

    Your VIN may appear next to a barcode like the one below. If typing/writing a VIN, be sure to omit the letters I and O. These are never included in a VIN, instead being represented as the numbers 1 and 0.

  • The CarMD database has a wealth of information on your vehicle. We base our fixes and scheduled maintenance reminders on a variety of factors, including your VIN and Mileage. To find the right information we decode your VIN to get your vehicle’s year, make, model, mileage, engine and transmission type.

    Please note: CarMD cannot link your VIN to any person and therefore and personal information.

  • The “check engine” light is there to help warn drivers of a problem with their car’s engine and other related systems. They are found on all vehicles manufactured for use in the U.S. since 1996 and Canada since 1998 because of government mandates to lower emissions. More than 9 million U.S. drivers alone have ignored their car’s “check engine” light for three months or more.

    It’s important to address your check engine light as soon as possible for several reasons:

    - You will not pass a state emissions test if you have a “check engine” light on.

    - Your vehicle may not be running efficiently, leading to poor fuel economy and loss of power

    - If left unchecked, some issues can cause damage to other systems over time, leading to more repairs.

    - Avoid unnecessary breakdowns and emergency repair situations

  • On-Board Diagnostics are part of the U.S government’s mandate to help the automotive industry lower vehicle emissions. It’s a universal program installed in a vehicle’s computer system that is designed to detect malfunctions, set a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and turn on the “Check Engine” light if there is a problem. All 1996 or newer cars, light trucks, SUVs and minivans manufactured for use in the U.S have the most advanced OBD, called the second-generation on-board diagnostics program (OBD2).

  • Most consumers are not aware that there may be a safety or emissions recall for their vehicle. At CarMD, we provide you free access to this information and even include it every time you run a vehicle report.

    There are two types of vehicle recalls:

    Safety Recall

    The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues vehicle safety standards and requires manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet Federal safety standards.

    Manufacturers voluntarily initiate many of these recalls, while others are either influenced by NHTSA investigations or via the courts. If a safety defect is discovered, the manufacturer must notify NHTSA, as well as vehicle or equipment owners, dealers, and distributors. The manufacturer is then required to remedy the problem at no charge to the owner.

    There is an age limitation for getting safety recall repairs done, though. To be eligible for a free remedy, your vehicle cannot be more than 10 years old on the date the defect or noncompliance is determined. Under the law, the age of the vehicle is calculated from the date of sale to the first purchaser.

    Emission Recall

    Vehicle manufacturers are required to design and build their vehicles to meet emissions standards. Under the Clean Air Act, if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determines that a substantial number of vehicles in a class or category do not meet emissions standards, it can require the manufacturer to recall and fix the affected vehicles to make sure they are not polluting the environment.

    The manufacturer usually conducts emissions-related recalls and remedies voluntarily, although the EPA has the authority to order a manufacturer to recall and fix non-complying vehicles. These emissions-related recalls may or may not be paid for by the manufacturer.

  • A technical service bulletin (TSB) is an advisory issued by an automotive manufacturer to its dealership service departments detailing a fix for a known concern or difficult repair. The bulletin is for informational purposes only. It is not a recall.

    If a problem addressed in a TSB is particularly widespread, the manufacturer may decide to send out an “Owner Notification” letter, but they are under no obligation to make the repair or notify customers. If your vehicle is still under warranty; however, you can usually get the related repairs covered.

    A majority of TSBs are released during the first year that a vehicle is offered or the year following a redesign in order to address areas that might have been overlooked in the car’s design process.

    TSB content varies in severity from hard-to-start engines to inoperable windows or even something as simple as how to install a license plate holder. TSBs often (but not always) deal with a recurring problem and include instructions for the repair, parts needed, the warranty status and the labor charge.