One of the most vital signals of an improperly functioning vehicle is the Check Engine light and when illuminated, it alerts the driver to a variety of existing potential problems.
“When the Check Engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A glowing Check Engine light doesn’t mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the warning light could result in costly repairs. At the very least, the light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.”
If the light flashes, the condition is more critical and must be checked immediately to prevent severe damage.
Once the vehicle is in the automotive shop, a technician connects your vehicle’s computer system to a diagnostic scan tool. From here, the technician can look for codes, analyze data streams such as the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators. Afterwards, the technician can advise if further testing is needed or make the recommended repairs.