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The Check Engine Light

When the Check Engine Light comes on in your vehicle, do you cringe in fear or just ignore it? Many people are not sure what to do, so let us try and take some of the mystery out of it.

First, if it is a flashing check engine light, something is wrong. You should get to your NAPA AutoCare Center right away. If you continue to drive at normal speeds, that could cause severe damage to many components and even your catalytic converter.

If the light comes on and has a steady glow over a day or two, schedule an appointment with your service advisor to have your vehicle checked.

Here’s some additional information on how the Check Engine Light works that may be helpful. The engine control computer is responsible for controlling most of the engine functions. This computer makes many adjustments for the current environment of the vehicle, the way you drive, all engine parameters and even atmospheric conditions.

The computer reads this data that is delivered by a network of sensors on your vehicle. If the parameters are considered to be “out of range” then the computer may turn on the Check Engine Light. If after running a number of pre-programmed “tests” and the computer can make necessary adjustments within proper boundaries set by the manufacturer, it may turn the light off.

If these adjustments do not correct the problem, then the light will stay on and you should get your vehicle to your NAPA AutoCare Center. Your technician will use a scanner to retrieve the proper code, as well as use the proper diagnostic tools and methods as a starting point to properly diagnose and repair your vehicle.

Remember that just using a scan tool to find a trouble code does not mean that the problem has been found. Finding the trouble code is only one of the small, first steps to determine what is actually wrong with your vehicle. Stay away from organizations that tell you that they can use only their scan tool to find the trouble code and sell you the parts you need to fix it. Most of the time, you’ll end up throwing money away by purchasing parts you don’t need.

Always take your vehicle to your local NAPA AutoCare Center for a proper diagnosis. Yes, there would be a diagnostic charge just like going to your Doctor to find out what is wrong before you can get the proper medication. In the long run, you’ll save money and your vehicle will be fixed correctly the first time.

Posted May 8th, 2014

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