Don’t ignore those check engine and dashboard warning lights
I recently noticed an internet article on how to turn a “check engine” light off. It advised to
simple turn the car off and on three times and, like magic!, your problem will go away.
Even if you aren’t car maintenance savvy, you know this isn’t the right thing to do…
Those little lights, bells and beeps are there to warn you that trouble might be coming your
way. SO DON’T IGNORE THEM! Warning lights notify you when your vehicle’s computer
recognizes an issue that needs to be addressed. These annoying little lights have a very
important job. The sensors attached to them continuously monitor and send data to
electronic control units (computers) for various systems needed for you vehicle to be
reliable and safe. Dashboard indicator lights may allude to a sensor or drivability problem.
Dashboard indicator lights can also mean that you have anything from an emissions
problem to warning of impending engine failure.
Warning lights are certainly the last thing you want when you go out to start your vehicle.
To extend the life of your car, truck, hybrid or SUV and to minimize additional costly repairs
that may become necessary if you choose to ignore the issue, it’s best to get immediate
professional auto repair and maintenance attention.
OBD (on board diagnostics) code readers are very popular, but they won’t fix the problem
even once they know what the problem is.
Pickering’s Auto Service in Lakewood. CO - Arvada, Colorado – Westminster, CO tells us,
“Pulling codes with those less expensive, do-it-yourself code readers won’t tell you exactly
what’s going on. Although it might point you in the general direction, you’ll need further
diagnosis testing to pin-point exactly which part is failing in a particular system.”
Need more reasons to head straight to an auto service center like Pickering’s? Here’s a
great example of why you should go to a certified auto repair shop vs using your OBD code
puller – or worse yet – IGNORING warning lights on your dashboard. From an article found
on totalcardiagnostics.com: “Let’s use the OBD code P0171 as an example. This code
means “System Too Lean”. Possible explanations for this code vary and could mean one or
more of the following…
• Faulty or stuck open PCV valve Failed or faulty oxygen sensor
• The MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor is dirty or faulty
• Possible cracked PCV line or vacuum /connection
• There could be a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF sensor
• Plugged or failed/ sticking fuel injector
• Low fuel pressure
• Exhaust leak between the first oxygen sensor and engine
It takes a certified technician to know how to go through each of these parts and
systems, and how and what to test to confirm why the engine in coming up with the
code P0171. Without the testing, you would be left up to guessing and checking by just
replacing parts, and even then you may not figure it out.
When paying a certified technician or shop to perform the proper pin point testing
needed to confirm a fault or failure that the computer is recognizing, you are paying for
their time and expertise in knowing how to test these components and analyze the
readings in order to confirm the failure (just like you would a doctor) so that when the
shop tells you that a certain part will fix your problem, you can know that they are not
just guessing and checking. The shop then can stand behind the warranty of the repair
because they confirmed the fault and then retested after repair to verify that the fault
was no longer present.
Mike Pelshaw, Manager at Pickering’s Arvada location goes on, “A good auto technician will
not only be trained on the latest state-of-the-art scanning and testing equipment, but they
will also use industry databases and Technical Service Bulletins that may offer insight into
what other’s with the same make, model and year of vehicle may be experiencing and why.”
*And know this: If the light flashes, the condition is more severe
and must be checked immediately.
It is recommend that you have professional diagnostics services immediately performed if
you are experiencing any of the following illuminating lights:
• Check engine or service engine soon warning indicator
• Brake or ABS warning indicator
• Engine warning indicator
• Engine coolant temperature indicator
• Oil level or pressure warning indicator
• Voltage indicator
And call in to discuss with the service center if you have any other lights or gauges of which
you are unsure the meaning of.
Your life, and the life and value of your vehicle may be at risk if you don’t!
Make an appointment online today!