Check Engine Lights: More Than Just Getting a Code

Check Engine Lights: More Than Just Getting a Code

| By: Chip Fenner, Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road

Nobody wants to see their check engine light pop on, especially when their vehicle doesn’t show any apparent signs of serious problems. So, what does it mean when your check engine light turns on? A check engine light is the way your vehicle lets you know there is a problem that needs attention. A code reader gives you a starting point. From there, it could be any number of issues. If your check engine light turns on, the best thing to do is to take your car to an auto shop you trust. In the meantime, read our blog to learn more about what your check engine light could indicate.

How Check Engine Lights Work

Your check engine light, also called a Malfunction Indicator Lamp, is made to inform the driver of any problems detected by the vehicle’s computer system from a multitude of sensors in your vehicle. So, it could indicate any number of problems. Typically, the best way to solve this issue is to take your car to a mechanic or to the dealer in order to run a diagnostic test on it. The computer in the car will relay the code to the mechanic, which indicates the systems affected. However, this code will not tell you exactly what repair is required. The code will lead you to the area of the problem, but will not indicate the specific problem. You should understand that a code may mean the sensor is bad, one or more parts of that system are bad, passages in the system are clogged up or any number of other reasons. The codes in the system are not that sophisticated.

You will still need the help of an experienced mechanic to get to the heart of the issue. Your mechanic can take a look at the area indicated in the code, find the source of the issue, and apply the best repair method to fix the problem.

Checking for Potential Problems

Prior to taking your vehicle to into a shop like Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road, you should be aware that it might be a much simpler problem than you think. Sometimes a loose gas cap can cause your engine sensors to go off, resulting in a lit check engine light. So, first check to see if your cap was loose, secure it firmly and see if your light shuts off. Keep in mind that it may take a little while for the engine light to turn off after you secure the gas cap.

Once you’ve crossed the gas cap possibility off your list, you might want to consider if your car has been showing any other indications of engine troubles. Pay attention to how it drives and try to see if it seems unsteady or less responsive, and listen for any strange noises when you start the car or as you drive. Make a note of any changes you notice so that you can report them to your mechanic.

Visit an Auto Shop You Trust

Most importantly, don’t wait to get your engine looked at by an experienced mechanic. Even if you don’t notice any major changes to your vehicle, you could have a serious underlying problem. If left unchecked, these issues could cause your car to malfunction while on the road, putting you and your passengers in serious danger.

Contact Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road to discuss your car problems with our auto repair specialists in Cypress.

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