Check Engine light?

The check engine light is part of your car’s so-called onboard diagnostics system. Since the 1980s, computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance, regulating such variables as engine speed, fuel mixture, and ignition timing. In modern cars, a computer also tells the automatic transmission when to shift.

When it finds a problem in the electronic control system that it can’t correct, a computer turns on a yellow warning indicator labeled “check engine,” “service engine soon,” or “check powertrain.” Or the light may be nothing more than a picture of an engine, perhaps with the word “check.”

In addition to turning on the light—known as the International Check Engine Symbol—the computer stores a “trouble code” in its memory that identifies the source of the problem, such as a malfunctioning sensor or a misfiring engine. The code can be read with an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer—standard equipment in auto repair shops. There are also a number of relatively inexpensive code readers that are designed for do-it-yourselfers.

The code will typically just point you in the direction of the problem, and still requires an experienced professional to fully diagnose and repair the issue. With the cost of a shop performing a diagnosis costing around $90, many car owners are turning to the internet to find the cause and remedy. This can work in some instances, but when in doubt, seek professional help.

Let us scan your vehicle for FREE and help identify the problem!!

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