Is your Check Engine Light On?

Is Your Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine Light is a warning indicator—it means your vehicle’s computer has determined that a component or a system in your car such as ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly.

Here is the list of some things that can trigger the check engine light:

  • Your Oxygen (O2) Sensor needs replacing
  • Gas cap is loose, damaged or missing
  • Catalytic Converter needs replacing
  • Mass Airflow Sensor needs replacing (MAF)
  • Spark Plugs or Plug Wires need replacing

There are other various causes of an illuminated Check Engine Light as well, make sure to take your car for an inspection.

If the indicator is blinking, the situation is usually serious, such as a severe misfiring of the engine. This would allow unburned fuel to dump into the exhaust system, pushing the temperature of your catalytic converter to the breaking point. Slow the car down, find a safe place to stop, and have your vehicle towed to an automotive shop for a repair.

A steady light on the other hand is not an emergency situation. You can continue driving, but you should schedule an appointment with a mechanic as soon as possible. Even though the car could be driving just fine, you may be wasting fuel, polluting the environment and in some cases damaging the engine.

it’s important to get the issue taken care of. Ignoring the warning light could result in costly repairs.  When scheduling service, make sure the automotive shop that examines your vehicle has professional technicians who are trained and certified in OBDII diagnosis and repair.

 How it’s done:

One or more diagnostic trouble codes are stored in the engine control module. To address a Check Engine Light problem, the codes are retrieved by scanning and the appropriate troubleshooting information is followed in order to determine the problem.

The technician will connect your vehicle’s computer system to a diagnostic scan tool, while the diagnostic tool is connected, the technician can analyze data streams such as the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators, which will provide trouble codes indicating why the check engine light was activated and issues are identified. After the inspection, a mechanic will provide a detailed report that describes the diagnosis, along with the scope and cost of the necessary repairs. After the repair estimate is approved, the faulty part(s) are replaced, the memory is cleared of any fault codes (the Check Engine Light is turned off), you will have to drive the car for a few days to see if the light comes back on or not.

Please note: In some rare cases, multiple visits may be required to diagnose and resolve the stubborn Check Engine Light issues. It may take several days of driving the car for the monitoring system to verify that the repair has fixed all the problems. If the monitoring system fails any of its internal tests, it will turn the light back on. This means that the car has more problems that were not evident during the first evaluation. The mechanic will have to perform further diagnosis and create new repair estimates for resolving the existing problems.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Please call us (416) 739-1717 to schedule an appointment.