I read the features to look for in an OBD-II reader, but I am curious if getting one is the right move. I'm just planning to get a cheap one, which is proving to be interesting shopping local. What I expect to happen is I will read the code, go to my computer and look up what it means, and then follow the instructions in the Chilton's manual to fix whatever is wrong (assuming it is something I can fix.) I've replaced spark plugs, O2 sensors, fuel filters, etc. before, so I am moderately comfortable under the hood.
I realized there is an assumption in my plan, which is what brings me here. When I use the reader to read the code, how do I translate that code to something actionable? Is there a web site I go to, or do I just post the codes on this site? And when I get that translated, will that be enough information to look it up in the Chilton's so I know what the heck to do next?
It is a '97 Saturn SL1, and it currently won't start after it was running really rough (no power). Felt like it was not firing on all cylinders perhaps.