Isn’t it impressive how a little light on your dash that illuminates “check engine” can cause a cascade of fear about impending doom? Am I going to be stranded (on this dark, lonely highway)? Is it serious? Do I need to change all of my plans and immediately take the car in for emergency operations at a Lakewood transmission repair shop?
In cars manufactured since the 1980s, the “check engine” light has become a central component of the onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. These high-tech systems monitor vehicle performance while regulating fuel mixture, engine timing and more. In fact, in cars manufactured since1996, these systems act like mobile emissions testing stations and have sophisticated emissions monitoring capabilities.
As a result of the complexity of the computers that run most systems in today’s cars, weekend grease monkeys can only get so far when trying to troubleshoot car problems on their own. When that “check engine” light comes on, it doesn’t indicate catastrophic failure is imminent, but you do want to be sure you get an appointment with a certified technician as soon as possible to get the issue resolved.
When the Check Engine Light Comes On
- The “check engine” light comes on when your car’s computer system has found an issue it can’t solve.
- The car’s computer will store a special code in its memory.
- Whether it’s a bad sensor or something more serious, this code identifies the source of the problem.
- A diagnostic computer at an auto repair shop reads the code.
- Mechanics evaluate the issue and recommend service.
Ignore “Check Engine” at Your Car’s Peril
The sooner you get a qualified technician to identify your car’s problem, the less damage will be done to your car. Like our own health, the longer you ignore an issue, the bigger it typically gets. Your car may lose fuel efficiency, potentially have emissions issues, the problem may escalate and typically the repair costs increase if you ignore the problem.
Every make and model is different, so be sure to review the owner’s manual for your auto to understand what the “check engine” light could mean now, before you’re stuck on the road wondering what to do.
How to Use This Information
At our Lakewood transmission repair and Wheat Ridge shops, we specialize in automatic and manual transmission repair on all domestic and foreign makes and models. Many onboard diagnostics systems monitor the transmission of your car as well. If your “check engine” light is on, give us a call at 720-644-1670 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
What issues have you discovered when your “check engine” light came on?