Check Engine Light Diagnosis in Richmond, Virginia
If your check engine light is on, don’t let it haunt you. There are probably several questions running through your mind: Is something wrong with my vehicle? How much will it cost to fix? But please, don’t panic. Take your car to an expert and have them diagnose the issue to alleviate your headache. Below, we will discuss some of the potential culprits.
How Does the Check Engine Light Work?
The check engine light turns on when the computer inside your vehicle detects a problem that might affect the emissions control system. The computer’s diagnostic codes then signal the light to illuminate.
Your mechanic will use an OBD-II scanner to retrieve the code, identify the problem, and troubleshoot accordingly. The check engine light may indicate that your vehicle’s emissions control system is faulty or that your vehicle is emitting more pollution than the acceptable standards. In these cases, the vehicle would fail a smog check or emissions inspection. Don’t confuse the check engine light with the service or maintenance light, which only turn on when your vehicle is overdue for routine maintenance. If your check engine light is on, you should have your car checked by a professional as soon as possible.
Potential Causes of Check Engine Light
An array of problems can turn on the check engine light. Here are some common scenarios:
- The Light Flickers or Only Turns on in Certain Conditions If the light turns on while driving in the city but not on the freeway, or if it flickers inconsistently, the problem might be your city’s driving conditions. Pay attention to whether the vehicle behaves differently when the light is on. If so, take your car to the mechanic immediately. If there’s no difference, however, then there’s likely nothing to worry about, although it’s still a good idea to get your car checked soon.
- The Light Stays on Constantly Without Performance Problems If your vehicle’s check engine light stays on continuously but you are not experiencing any problems with its driving and performance, then there may be a fault in your emissions control system. In that case, drive your car in lower gears only to reach the mechanic and get it serviced.
- The Light Stays on Constantly With Performance Problems If you are experiencing performance issues alongside the check engine light, you may have a serious problem with your engine management or emissions control. It’s not safe to drive the vehicle, as it may stall or stop at any moment. Pull over and have your vehicle towed to the repair shop for a thorough inspection.
- The Light Turns on and Blinks Steadily While Driving There is a difference between your check engine light flickering and blinking in a steady pattern. When it blinks, it may flash when you accelerate. This indicates a severe problem in your emissions control system, which might be causing your engine to misfire. Each time the light flashes, the catalytic converter is being damaged. Over time, the converter may overheat, which can start a fire on your vehicle’s underside. Pullover immediately and have your vehicle towed to a mechanic.
Common Causes of a Check Engine Light and Their Solutions
- Loose gas cap Solution: Tightening or replacing the cap
- Bad oxygen sensor Solution: Identifying and replacing the bad sensor
- Failing spark plugs Solution: Replacing the spark plugs
- Bad spark plug wires Solution: Replacing the wires
- Faulty catalytic converter Solution: Letting an expert inspect and replace the device
- Bad mass airflow sensor Solution: Installing a new sensor
If your check engine light is on, don’t ignore it. Take your vehicle to Speedy’s Transmission Shop in Richmond, Virginia, and let our experts diagnose and fix the problem. If your car needs a costly repair that you cannot afford, our finance partner can offer you a no-interest loan for up to one year, so there is no excuse for postponing service and continuing to drive a faulty vehicle.