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completed: 2012
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Fault FREE Test vehicle check. What is it?

The Fault FREE Test is a vehicle check carried out by Fault FREE Ltd, a UK company that provides a vehicle ‘approval’ service relating to the system electronics of a car, van or other vehicle.

Vehicles which are Fault FREE Approved are certified as having no electronic faults, and as having had the identity of the vehicle checked against that encoded into its onboard Electronic Control Units (ECUs). A successful vehicle check under the Fault FREE Test results in the issuing of a Fault FREE Certificate.

Fault FREE Test vehicle check

The Fault FREE Test is an electronic vehicle check carried out to diagnose or detect electronic faults on motor vehicles.

All motor vehicles manufactured since 1996 include computer processors, microchips, and sensors in their design, and these can be checked for electronic faults via a diagnostic port, using a computer.

Most modern vehicles have multiple ECUs, with purposes ranging from from controlling interior lights to managing the running of the engine. ECUs also store a record of faults that have occurred on the systems they govern, classifying these with fault codes.

Examples of auto check ECU fault codes

Each manufacturer uses its own range of fault codes, and these can be used during an electronic auto check to diagnose what is causing a particular fault. As examples:

Volkswagen Group
Fault code = 17664
Engine Coolant Temp Sensor (G62) – Open or Short to Plus

Renault Group

Fault code = C100F
Front Right Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction – Open / short circuit to ground

The format of the Fault FREE Test vehicle check

A Fault FREE Test consists of two separate reports, each produced as a result of running exactly the same diagnostic procedure on the vehicle.

It’s what we do in-between the two diagnostic tests that reveals any current faults affecting the vehicle.

We begin by running a diagnostic vehicle check which shows a list of all faults past and present affecting the vehicle (assuming that the ECUs have not been reset in the past.)

Once we have done this, we carry out an ‘Erase All Faults’ procedure. This cancels all faults registered on the ECUs, including those that have been rectified previously.

We then carry out a short road test of the vehicle. This creates the opportunity for any faults currently affecting the vehicle to be displayed on the relevant ECU’s.

Vehicles that show no faults in their second report will be issued with a Fault FREE Certificate, which can be verified online and via a QR code.

If the second report shows current faults, then these are notified to you and you must arrange to have them rectified before resubmitting the vehicle for another Fault FREE Test auto check.

Erasing the record of faults from an ECU does not fix the actual faults on the vehicle fault records can only be erased once the problem has been rectified, otherwise they will continue to show in the second Fault FREE Test report, however many times the Test is run.

A Fault FREE Test does not affect your vehicle’s warranty. The Fault Free Test Certificate certifies that your vehicle is Fault FREE.

In any situation in which a Fault FREE Test Certificate is produced as evidence that a vehicle is free of faults, we recommend that if the Certificate is more than 60 days old the vehicle should be retested

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