Check Engine Light
The ‘check engine' light is probably the most annoying and confusing light on your vehicle's dashboard. When the light comes on our typical reaction is usually to panic thinking something serious is happening with the engine or transmission. It may indicate your vehicle is not getting the best fuel economy or is emitting more pollutants than it should, or the gas cap may be loose. It can also warn of costly engine components that are not functioning properly within the emission system.
This light is a component of a vehicle's onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. For over twenty years computers in our vehicles have been regulating engine speed (RPM), fuel mixture, engine timing, exhaust emissions, gasoline vapors, as well as monitoring and controlling engine performance and other minute details. Auto makers were required to install these sophisticated systems to perform as on-the-spot emissions testing stations and to aid mechanics in discovering malfunctions.
The OBD system will follow a situation to determine if it will correct itself, and if not, it will turn on thecheck engine, service engine soon, or check powertrain message through the yellow warning indicator light. The indicator can also be the International Check Engine Symbol which is a picture of an engine or maybe even the word CHECK. The computer also stores a ‘trouble code' in its memory to identify the source of the problem. A diagnostic computer, which is standard equipment in vehicle repair shops, or an electronic scanning tool, found at most auto supply stores can read these codes. There are also reader tools designed for do-it-yourself mechanics.
When your check engine light comes on take the time to read your owner's manual first to learn the purpose of the light and every other gauge and warning indicator on your dashboard. Come by our shop and we will gladly perform a diagnostic test to inform you which codes are being indicated and what those codes mean. Our trained diagnosticians will gladly perform the necessary services to make your emissions system operate at its most efficient.