Most of us have had the dreaded check engine light come on while driving, and many people are confused as to exactly what this means and what they should do.
Be careful not confuse the check engine light with the service required light or the maintenance light as these lights have a different meaning then the check engine light, they refer to a regular requirement like an oil and filter change. They will light up at a given mileage to let you know that a service is required. We always reset these while performing maintenance services.
For vehicles built before 1996 if your check engine light comes on, it could mean that there is a failure somewhere in the car/trucks electronic engine control system. If the electronic sensors or actuators are not working properly you are going to see the light come on.
As of 1996 and newer, all cars and trucks are required to have more strict exhaust emissions guidelines. Not only will the check engine light monitor the electronic sensors and actuators but the vehicles emissions as well. Now the check engine light will monitor several emissions factors and predict very accurately how much pollution is coming out of the engine. These new systems are so sensitive that the check engine light may come on if you don’t fasten the gas cap properly! – Believe it or not, the pollution coming from an unsealed tank of gas can exceed the pollution coming out of the tailpipe on a modern car!
As most people are aware, it requires the use of a diagnostic tester to retrieve the codes that are set when the check engine light on comes on. A simple tester can be had for around $100, but it may surprise you to know that our testers cost as much as $10,000 and we currently own 8 different ones, including the factory testers for Ford, GM, Toyota, Chrysler and Mazda. Overall e have coverage for over 25 brands of vehicles. All of these tools also have yearly subscription fees into the thousands to keep up to date.
Why would we make this investment if we could gather the info we need from a $100 tool? The only logical answer of course is, that you get what you pay for and the generic code readers just don’t give us nearly the amount of info and testing capability as we need to accurately diagnose your cars concerns.
I can safely say that NO OTHER REPAIR SHOP IN THE FRASER VALLEY HAS OUR LEVEL OF DIAGNOSTIC EQUIPMENT! This is a commitment we made to be the best place for accurate diagnosis of your cars needs and concerns.
If you have any warning lights coming on, don’t hesitate to come by or call us to discuss a plan of action to diagnose your vehicles concerns. Delaying or ignoring these warnings could end up causing a possibly very little problem to turn into an expensive one.