Check Engine Light – Can I Ignore It?
You’re driving along on your merry way whistling a happy tune when all of the sudden the unthinkable happens: YOUR CHECK ENGINE LIGHT POPS ON! “This can’t be”, you think. “My car is running fine! I made sure I put the gas cap on when I filled the tank. What can it be? Maybe I should just ignore it.”
The check engine light is a dreaded, yet unavoidable, sight for most car owners. This little light has caused stress to thousands of customers here at Val & Mike’s Auto Repair. But maybe you could consider it a blessing in disguise, letting you know that a problem might be on the horizon. In our experience, we can’t stress the importance of having the check engine light diagnosed as soon as possible.
The check engine light acts as a silent alarm. There are no specifics about exactly what is wrong; it is just a broad warning to check your car. It performs the very important job of informing you that something is off and needs to be checked. This can save you a lot of money in the long run by taking care of the problem before it gets worse.
The story begins when your technician connects to the computer in your car with a code reader. This enables them to pull the code that made the computer turn on the light. But that is just the beginning. That code still does not directly answer what is wrong with the car, but rather it tells the computer what sensor picked up the reading and gives the direction to look.
This check engine light can be triggered by anything from a loose gas cap to a dirty sensor. Most often it indicates a problem with exhaust and fuel systems. Some of the common triggers are:
• Faulty oxygen sensor
• Loose or damaged gas cap
• Failing catalytic converter
• Misfiring spark plugs
• Failing fuel pump
Could you ignore this light and just keep going? Probably, but that’s not what is in your best interest. It’s understandable that time and money are of utmost concern when it comes to auto repair. But consider this: You can drop your car off for a day and spend some money now, or you can wait a while and risk spending twice as much later.
Some consequences you should consider:
• Reduced gas mileage
• Increased emissions
• Safety risk
• The car won’t pass smog
• Risk of stalling in the middle of traffic
• Potential for further damage and bigger problems later
Most error codes have more than one possible cause which complicates the diagnostics process. It might take some time to disassemble. It may need visual inspection and additional testing to isolate the faulty component. This type of repair is better left to you trusted professional technician with the right tools and experience.
If a check engine light comes on, we hope you take the steps to diagnose and fix the problem. Driving with this light is a gamble only because it is unclear how serious the problem is. Even if the car seems to be running fine, that is no promise that it’s not about to fail you. If you have a check engine light we are here for you. We have the trained expert technicians to accurately diagnose your check engine light and repair it efficiently. Our goal is to have you safe and on the road as quickly as possible. Please know that we are here for you! Give us a call at 714-375-3145 for any questions or to make an appointment.