Q & A: Check Engine Light

AutoPro Tech Question:

The check engine light is on in my car. My boyfriend thinks he can get the code read and know what part needs to be replaced to fix it.  I told him I don’t think it’s that simple. Who’s right?

 AutoPro Answers:

Good news – you are!  There are hundreds of things that can go wrong in your Worcester vehicle. Some things are simple and straightforward, other things are much more complicated.  

Computers manage over 80% of your engine’s functions. The computers get their information from the dozens of sensors in your vehicle. Each sensor has a set parameter, or range of data, which is considered an acceptable reading. If a sensor reads outside that range, it will cause your check engine light to come on.   When the check engine light comes on it will set a trouble code in the computer.

People often think that getting a trouble code will tell you exactly what part needs to be replaced. This is a common misconception. The thing about trouble codes is that any number of faults can set a trouble code. As an example, let’s say your Worcester vehicle has a trouble code for a misfire on a specific cylinder. A misfire can be caused by a bad spark plug, a failed coil, ignition or compression issues, and so forth. Running a diagnostic on the code involves additional diagnosis to confirm or rule out what is the cause of the issue.

The ASE certified technicians at AutoPro in Worcester use state of the art diagnostic tools and have extensive research databases at their disposal in order to determine the issue with your Worcester vehicle.  A pinpoint diagnostic will save time and money on repairs.

Your BF may be tempted to skip the diagnostic charge and try to figure out the problem himself. Cheap scanners or free scans from an auto parts store will only get him so far with “probable causes” of the trouble code. (This is especially true with more complicated newer vehicles.) Throwing parts at a problem and hoping for the best may end up costing more time and money than a proper diagnostic would.

If the check engine light in your vehicle is flashing, you should drive the vehicle as little a possible since this can cause extensive and expensive damage to the car.

If the check engine light is on steady or comes on for a few days and then goes off for a few day, the issue is less urgent but should be checked out by AutoPro at your convenience. Just keep in mind that a small issue today may become a bigger issue if you wait to long.

AutoPro Import Repair’s skilled professionals want to keep your vehicle in top shape.

 Give us a call today. 508.757.1297

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603