Check Engine Light On? Common Checks and Fixes To Try Before You Freak Out

It stands to reason most of us have spent time at the auto repair shop listening to our service person asking exactly what is going on with our car. Chances are we look at them completely dumbfounded and do not have a clue exactly, What? Is the right thing to say. We, in fact, are likely to be getting over the shock of our trusty reliable automobile experiencing a meltdown. In general, our brow is stuck in a worried frown, our feet may shuffle back and forth and we are having visions of our bank balance sinking into an abyss never to return. An unscheduled trip to the auto repair shop can be a lot less frightening if we learn some simple ways to identify common noises and yes, that dreaded light that signals that our car may have something serious going on. This goes a long way in helping your car repair expert know where to start with assessing your problem.

Probably the moment when most drivers figure out something has gone wrong with their automobile is when the check engine light is staring them in the eye. The dashboard now looks back at you ominously and strikes fear & anxiety in your heart. Although we have all been taught that the appearance of this light spells doom that simply may not be the case. Plenty of things may cause this to occur but it may mean several minor things are in the works, one as simple as leaving off your gas cap and you should definitely check this first before stressing out.

It is important for you to share any problematic warning signs with your technician, did you hear knocking? Was it slow to accelerate? Lurching or squealing? Have your interior lights and car entertainment system been behaving sketchy? Based on these identifications the auto repair technician will run a diagnostic on your automobiles computer. Your car’s computer is the brain for your engine that uses sensors to monitor some of the following:

  • Air Pressure
  • Air Temperature
  • Engine Temperature
  • Climate Control
  • Braking System
  • Electronic System

Having an auto repair technician run a diagnostic on your car’s computer is extremely positive in getting to the root of your problem. Many minor things can be causing the issue such as a faulty oxygen sensor that will probably cost you around $200.00 to $300.00 to repair in a shop and can easily be done in your garage for the most part. It could also be your Mass Air Flow Meter causing the issue with cost estimates in the $200.00 to $300.00 range depending on your particular vehicle, but this part is also generally easy to replace on a do-it-yourself basis and can be done with a low-cost OEM used auto part from a salvage yard and your auto’s repair manual if you are handy.

Once you have a diagnosis, you may be able to relax and gain peace of mind by asking specific questions about the specific costs and time factors of a repair. If it is determined that the repair will be more involved or costly do not be afraid to ask for applicable discounts or offered rebates. Many manufacturers offer incentives for the consumer and repair shop alike. No need to pay full price when savings are involved. Do research on the diagnosis most importantly learn all you can from your experience and keep routine maintenance up to date. Armed with this information you may never need to fear this dashboard light ever again