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Check Engine Light

Your “Check Engine Light” comes on – What should you do?

How should you handle a problem regarding a Check Engine Light in Colorado Springs? Your “Check Engine Light” is different from your “Maintenance Required Light” (which tells you that you are due for an oil change or recommended maintenance service).   When your “Check Engine Light” comes on, do not ignore it – your vehicle system’s computer is telling you that it needs attention soon!  It may be a simple fix, such as a loose gas cap, or something more complex.  However, in order to make sure that you do not damage to your engine or other vital components, have your vehicle computer codes read as soon as possible.

Your Honest Accurate Auto technician can diagnose what is triggering your “Check Engine Light”.  Diagnostic codes will tell your technician what is making the light activate, but he may also have to delve in deeper to determine what system requires repair or which component is failing and needs replacement in order to resolve the problem.  As vehicle emissions standards become stricter and fleet fuel mileage requirements become greater and greater, the associated technology to meet these demands has surpassed “rocket science”, thus requiring sophisticated diagnostic equipment and highly trained technicians to operate and interpret their results.

If your Check Engine Light in Colorado Springs comes on, know that your vehicle is designed to operate in a “limp home” or “limp to your auto shop” mode (unless you experience a critical component failure).  “Limp home” means the car operates safely, but:

1.       May not have the normal power you’re used to

2.       May not operate fuel efficiently

3.       May not be as pollution-free out the tailpipe as designed to be

What you should do is simply:

1.  Pull over when and where it is safe to do so, check your oil level and coolant level and top off if low (all of your engine’s fluids, oil and cool, will be quite hot so be cautious when checking these levels).

2.  Monitor your temperature gauge and engine oil pressure (or light) as you continue to drive.

3.  Observe engine operation and transmission shifting for any abnormal operation.

4.  As soon as possible, have your favorite honest accurate ASE technician check your computer codes to determine if your vehicle needs immediate attention or repair or further diagnostics.

You may question whether diagnostics are necessary – don’t the codes just tell the technician what to fix?  On one customer’s car, we replaced a starter at their request, without doing diagnostics (at their request).  When the problem was not resolved, we found that all it needed was a simple fuse replacement.  Often, the diagnostics will save money in the long run.

Remember…regular service maintenance is your best insurance for those unexpected surprises whether you’re on vacation or just driving to work or school.  Find a competent ASE technician that you feel comfortable with, and have him (her) check out your vehicle.  For further information your Check Engine Light in Colorado Springs or repairs,contact Honest Accurate Auto Service at 719-638-1800 (Tutt Blvd.) or 719-598-6306 (Nevada Mesa View).