CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
What happens if your check engine light comes on?
This light is called the Malfunctions Indicator Lamp (MIL). If the light is BLINKING, there is an immediate need for repairs, or vehicle damage will occur. Immediately pull over to the side of the road and call for assistance.
If the light is ON STEADY, there is a presumed increase in exhaust emissions, but there is not an urgent need for repair. You cannot pass a SMOG CHECK TEST if the light is on or blinking.
However, you are causing increased air pollution, loss of performance or increased fuel consumption, and in many cases are adding to the wear on your engine until repaired.
Check engine light diagnostics involve one of the most difficult and time-consuming repairs that can occur to modern day vehicles. There is no magic wand that can be waved over a vehicle to solve these problems. We have the diagnostic tools that are needed to solve these problems, but they only assist in finding the cause of the problem and rarely do they pinpoint the problem to a particular component failure. Many check engine light codes are created by dirty connections and while these set fault codes, diagnostic tools will frequently report these problems as a failed component. As a result, it takes a systematic process to detect the cause and repair these problems.
We have developed a “stage” approach to repairing these troublesome check engine light codes. This assures that the annoying problem of bringing the vehicle in for a second time is greatly reduced. First we connect our diagnostic equipment to the vehicle and retrieve the fault codes from the vehicle computer. These codes will give us a general area of the component failure. We then go down a diagnostic check list that has been developed by the manufacturer and test the component to see if it works properly. If it does not, we replace the failed component.
Even if we find a failed component, to assure that the job is done right additional steps need to be taken. The engine code or codes are cleared and the vehicle is driven to verify the repairs.
As you can imagine, doing the above takes a fair amount of time, a very experienced technician and the proper (expensive!) equipment.
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