Check Engine Lights: Don’t Just Go by the Code

March 10, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

You’re driving down the road when all of a sudden, your check engine light comes on. Is it serious? Do you have to take the car to the auto repair shop, or can you wait it out? Can you rely on the check engine light codes in Northwest Indiana, to tell you what is really going on?

Your car’s check engine codes are a way to indicate that something wrong, but they are not always accurate. What appears to be a simple problem may be a much more serious issue. Here is how to tell when it’s time to take your car in for a diagnosis.

Check engine codes and meanings

If your check engine light comes on and stays on, then there’s no way to tell whether it’s a simple or major problem. You should take your vehicle in as soon as possible. However, if the check engine light is flashing, that indicates a serious problem. Pull over as soon as possible and take your car in for service immediately.

Checking your engine codes also requires you to do a little legwork. Your on-board computer system will have the code, which requires a scanner or reader to connect. You can bring your car in to a repair shop, an auto parts store or purchase a scanner yourself. Once you have the appropriate code, simply Google the code, car make and model and year to find out what the definition of the code or codes. In many cases, it could be a simple problem like a malfunctioning gas cap. Other times, the code might not make the issue immediately clear.

In general, it’s easier to take your vehicle into a repair shop for check engine light code read in Northwest Indiana. A skilled mechanic will be able to diagnose the problem and tell you whether it’s a simple fix, or if you need to leave your vehicle at the shop for further repairs. While many of these problems can be identified pretty easily, fixing them may not be within your reach.

The most common problems that trigger a check engine light are problems with the oxygen or mass airflow sensors, issues with the catalytic converter, faulty or leaky gas caps and issues with the ignition coil or spark plugs. These repairs can range from $20 to $1,200.

Resetting your check engine light

If you have a code reader, you’ll also be able to turn off your check engine light—but keep in mind that if you didn’t fix the problem, it will come back on again. In most states, a check engine light will automatically prevent your car from passing a smog test. In most cases, it’s best to just let a mechanic run diagnostics on your car. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time, money and effort trying to repair your own vehicle.

Glen Park Autoworks offers free check engine light code reading in Northwest Indiana. Bring your car in to us to find out what’s really going on and how to fix it. We offer a full range of auto repairs—call today to get started.

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