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I'm sure the answer to this applies to many models of Dodge and probably Chrysler, Jeep, and Plymouth, too.

I found the answer for newer (2001 Ram truck) vehicles but nothing I've found works on my van. The solutions I tried were:

  1. Press trip meter button to show trip mileage, then turn ignition on, off, on, off, on and leave it.
  2. Press trip meter button and hold for 10 seconds while ignition on then ignition off, on, off, on and leave it.
  3. Ignition on and wait, then ignition off, on, off, on and wait.

With all these solutions nothing is shown on the trip meter, no lights blink in anyway different then a normal ignition on without toggling on and off.

How do I get the P codes?

My check engine light is on (the malfunction indicator lamp/light or mil as some call it). The light remains on after starting and stays on while driving... it's always on when the ignition is on.

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    The easiest way is to take it down to an AutoZone, Checkers, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's, etc., and have them do it for free. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 27 '15 at 23:18
  • O'Reilly refused to do it in California. They said it was illegal for them to plug in to my van and read the code. – Jason May 14 '15 at 16:24
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    It may be in California ... CA has some stupid laws when it comes to cars. I'm surprised, though. When you get it inspected, they have to plug into your van to do an emissions check ... very weird. This doesn't stop you from checking your own stuff though. A code reader is actually fairly cheap, especially the Bluetooth ones you use with your smartphone or pad. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 14 '15 at 16:39
  • Thanks for the tip! I didn't realize that there were USB and Wifi code readers. I found many ranging from $9-$16 on Amazon.com. I didn't want a big $30+ dollar code reader on our trip (we're living in this van, Roadtrek Popular 190). But the USB/Wifi ones are really small. – Jason May 17 '15 at 22:55
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The diagnostic systems in cars get upgraded every few years. It wasn't until the early 2000's that car manufacturers really started to integrate ways of displaying diagnostic info without an OBD scanner.

Typically if it is not included in the shop manual it is not a feature on that car. Your best bet is to go to the local autoparts store or shop and have them read it for you for free. Also recommend getting one online for $15 as you never know when it will come in handy.

  • Thanks @Sean, My 1995 Jeep Cherokee could give me the check engine codes with a similar three on-off cycles. It gave it in terms of flashing a light some number of times, pausing, then flashing again. I could count the flashes and get the check engine code. Given this, I'm inclined to think it is possible to get the check engine code on this newer Dodge (Jeep and Dodge are both made by Chrysler). Checking in a shop manual sounds like a good idea. – Jason May 9 '15 at 18:11

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