Is your check engine light on? This is your car’s computer telling you that it has detected a fault. Leaving it unattended to can mean multiplying the amount of lights, time and money you will need to spend later on.
Many people tend to ignore this very obvious warning sign. But if your check engine light is trying to tell you something, failing to bring your vehicle in could end up costing you down the line. At Dana Meyer Auto Care, we’re your go-to source for affordable and efficient auto repairs, and we have the tools and skills to get to the bottom of whatever’s ailing your vehicle.
While a check engine light isn’t necessarily cause for alarm, it’s important to have it addressed as soon as possible. So if you’ve recently noticed that the check engine light has gone on in your dashboard, come have your car’s systems checked at Dana Meyer Auto Care. Our automotive experts are ready to give your car a complete diagnostic inspection and quickly trace the cause of the problem at hand. Don’t drive around wondering what’s wrong with your vehicle. Get to the source of the issue with our team’s help. Call or visit our auto repair center today to schedule an appointment.
If the ABS light illuminates while driving your vehicle, this signifies there is a fault in the anti-locki braking system. When this occurs your brakes should still operate normally, just without this feature. When you turn the key in the ignition to start your automobile, the computer for the anti-lock braking system performs a self test. You will see the ABS light illuminate briefly during the self test, and if the system is operating properly, it will go out. If the system finds the same fault during two scans it will keep the light lit until it has been addressed. If this light has stayed on in your car remember that anti-lock braking comes in handy in times of emergencies, so don’t delay, call Dana Meyer Auto Care today to make an appointment to have it evaluated.
All vehicles in the US post 1996 are mandated to equip an on board diagnostic system. This feature is able to detect faults in the system, typically it focuses on systems that will effect the automobile’s emissions (i.e. spark plug operation, if the gas cap is on loose, etc.). But in late model vehicles the diagnostic abilities have increased to include secondary codes that are meant to simplify diagnosis. While there are common and simple reasons the light may come on, some require additional testing and expertise to diagnose. If this light is illuminated, don’t delay in getting it scanned, call us today to find out what money saving offers we can apply to your diagnosis when you mention this blurb.
In some vehicles faults found with the catalytic converter (CAT) are indicated through the general check engine light, check your car’s manual to be sure. If this symbol does appear, it looks like flames or wavy lines rising from a box, this indicates it is overheated, damaged or malfunctioning. The CAT is part of the exhaust system and converts pollutants, byproducts of cars’ internal combustion, into less harmful emissions before they leave the car’s exhaust system. The catalytic converter, which resembles a muffler in shape, is between the engine and the muffler in most passenger cars. It is located under the car, usually underneath the passenger seat. Many newer vehicles actually have two catalytic converters.
A non-working catalytic converter will reduce your gas mileage, fail a smog check, can prevent the engine from revving and the vehicle from accelerating. In extreme cases, it also can cause serious damage to your engine. If you see this light come on, get it looked at ASAP. The vehicle will most likely require service immediately.
The check engine light, or more technically known as the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), is an amber light that is located in your vehicle’s instrument panel. This light can mean many things depending on the vehicle’s make/model/year, so without a scan tool it’s typically improbable to diagnose. In some cases it may be an easy fix if the gas cap was left off or not tightened all the way, but typically it is pointing to a larger fault, especially if your car was made after 1996 when diagnostic systems became more complex and comprehensive. Even the professional scan tools don’t always give straight forward answers as to what is causing the light to illuminate. Oftentimes the scan tool will give a general code, and the technician will need to test related components that are on the same circuit. The technicians at Dana Meyer Auto Care have been certified diagnostic technicians for 30+ years, by bringing your vehicle to us we can guarantee all work is completed to your satisfaction.
The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) is another word for check engine light. The light itself is located in the instrument panel, in the dashboard. When the on-board diagnostic system, or OBD, detects a fault, it sets a “pending code” in cars computer. The MIL light doesn’t come on at that point, because the system needs to make sure the problem is real and not a temporary glitch. If the same problem occurs again (under the pre-programmed conditions) — the OBD system will set a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and turn on the MIL lamp. The only way to know for sure what is causing the light to stay lit is to scan it. Even then the faults are not always readily obvious since oftentimes there are multiple circuits that are all required to operate with synchronicity for the same circuit to work properly.
The supplemental restraint system or SRS, it is also referred to as a passive restraint system because the vehicle occupants do not need to do anything in order to activate the SRS system when the enabling criteria are met. If the light stays on after the car is started this indicates a fault somewhere in the system. Newer cars have added additional features to the airbag system that may also be deactivated. So in the event of a collision there is a possibility that the air bags will not deploy, and even the seat belts will not tighten. Make sure to have the diagnostic computer scanned to ensure your safety.
The oxygen sensors or O2 sensor is designed to communicate to the computer how much unburned oxygen is exiting the exhaust system. This is important because the sensor is capable of adjusting the amount of fuel is in the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. If it is completely inoperable the car will run on a defaulted air/fuel trim mixture that is going to use much more fuel then it would otherwise. Additionally, the O2 sensors are mounted before and after the catalytic converter, so in the event they are both bad the car’s ability to monitor and protect the CAT will be diminished. O2 sensors are also one of the most common reasons to fail smog.
Air fuel ratio sensors, or AFR sensors, operate similarly to the oxygen sensors, but are slowly replacing them due to an increase in efficiency. AFR sensors have the ability to track the air/fuel mixture more closely to ensure the optimal ratio, also known as the stoichiometric mixture. For a gasoline engine, the ideal ratio of air to fuel burns all fuel with no excess air.
The Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) is used to prevent gasoline vapors from escaping into the air from the fuel tank and fuel system. The EVAP system usually is maintenance free, but if there are faults it can turn on the Check Engine light, which will prevent a vehicle from passing a smog check. Sometimes an error can be as simple as the gas cap not being tightened all the way, or having a crack in it. Otherwise diagnosing faults in this system are very tricky. Since the code for this system is very general technicians have to narrow down a leak from the hoses in the entire system.
It’s common knowledge that seat belts should be worn at all times while riding in a vehicle. These life saving devices have been given a dedicated light on most newer vehicle’s to help remind the driver and oftentimes passenger as well as to whether or not they remembered to clip the belt. Some vehicles will even chime until the belt is buckled.
The traction control light on a dashboard looks like an image of a car with squiggle lines trailing behind the car’s tires. The same wheel sensors in each tire are used with the ABS (anti lock braking system) so if this light illuminates chances are it’s indicating a larger system fault. Much like any light on the dashboard, make sure to get it scanned by a professional as soon as possible.
Leaks in a vehicles’ system can come in the from of an obstruction in the intake or exhaust systems or can be caused by an internal fault, like improperly seating valves. Faults like these are typically lumped in with all of the many reasons a check engine light illuminates.