Check Engine Light

Things You Should Know About Your Check Engine Light!


All modern vehicles have a computer or the ECM (Electronic Control Module) that controls the operation of the vehicle powertrain (the engine and transmission). The main purpose of this is to keep the engine running at the highest efficiency with the least possible emissions. The engine parameters are consistently adjusted according to conditions such as speed, load, engine temperature, gasoline quality, ambient air temperature, road conditions, etc.

Today’s cars have much more electronics than in early days – there are a large number of sensors and other electronic devices that help the vehicle computer or ECM to precisely control the engine and transmission operation and monitor emissions. The vehicle computer system has self-testing capability. When the computer senses that there is a problem with some of the components it stores the correspondent trouble code(s) in its memory and lights up the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light to tell you that there is a problem and your car needs to be looked at. To properly diagnose what is wrong, call On-Call Mechanic. Our techs are experienced and will hook up a scan tool to the car computer and retrieve the stored trouble code(s). We will then look up the code in our computer database and determine what test procedures will be necessary to properly repair the vehicle.

The code itself doesn’t tell exactly what component is defective – it only indicates where to look, what engine parameter is out of normal range. Our technician will have to perform further testing to pinpoint a defective part. Buyer Beware! When you take your vehicle to a parts store to have them pull your codes for free. They will often recommend you need to buy whatever part comes up. This is very often not the case. There is no substitute for a professional technician.



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