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 |  Feb 07 2012, 8:30 PM

Oh no – what does that flashing light on your dashboard mean? Now there’s an app that will tell you exactly what’s wrong.

The new Actron InfoMobile Lite app for iPhone and Android smart phones lets you easily reference data from an Actron diagnostic scan tool. The On-Board Diagnostic (OBD II) trouble code definitions (they are collected by the engine when a check engine light is lit up) are delivered right to your cell phone. The OBD II code definitions are relevant for vehicles built in 1996 and newer when used with an OBD II code reader.

“Our Actron InfoMobile Lite app is a very convenient option for auto enthusiasts because it eliminates the need for a computer – simply access trouble codes from your Actron PocketScan Code Reader or other diagnostic code reader, download the app to your iPhone or Android, and discover the trouble code definitions,” said Jennifer Grabowski, product manager for Actron Diagnostic Scan Tools. “We are providing accurate and reliable information that automotive DIYers can use to understand why their check engine light is on, and we’re offering it for an electronic product that nearly everyone carries.”

The Actron InfoMobile Lite app is free… and you can’t beat that price. Download the app now from the iTunes or Android Marketplace stores. There is one downside, though. The app doesn’t function by itself, you need a code reader. Guess what, Actron makes those and they aren’t exactly cheap. Even at Amazon’s significant discount, it costs $59.95.

There’s one other thing to keep in mind before placing an order, trouble codes are good, but they aren’t perfect. A single blown fuse can cause dozens of error codes capable of puzzling the best mechanics. On the upside, arming yourself with more knowledge before visiting your local grease monkey puts a lot of leverage in your corner when he tries to tell you the transmission is shot.