Your vehicle may be working fine, but that doesn’t always mean you can hit the road safely and expect no problems. Some issues, such as a bad catalytic converter or knock sensor circuit malfunction, may not reveal themselves until you’re already miles away from the nearest repair shop. This is why cars come equipped with onboard diagnostics (OBD) systems, which detect powertrain problems that affect emission.
One of the most dreaded OBD indicators of an existing yet otherwise unnoticeable engine problem is the check engine light. This could lead to costly repair, although some triggers can be as simple as a loose gas cap. Below is an excerpt from an article by Matthew Wright for About.com, which provides an overview of what to anticipate when your check engine light suddenly illuminates.
“Common problems that trigger the light are emission control malfunctions. The emission control system is what your car uses to keep our air cleaner. To do this, it employs dozens of sensors, valves, flaps, heated wires and probably some fairy dust. Every car made in the last 20 years has at least one oxygen sensor (we saw a Toyota that had four of them recently), and they don’t last forever. If they go, expect around $300 per sensor in replacement costs. Ignition systems are next.”
Wright’s article identifies some common triggers that are easy to fix. However, with the many possibilities that might put your life at risk, the safest way to deal with a check engine light is to get your vehicle to a repair shop where a professional technician can run proper diagnostics. Just keep in mind that although you can delay the repair when the light is steady, a blinking light means the repair is urgent and you will need to have your car inspected at the nearest Belleville, IL auto repair shop like Schaefer Automotive.
A check engine light may not indicate just engine troubles or inefficiency issues. As most OBDs are configured to observe certain regulations on emissions, this light may also indicate that the car’s engine exceeds federal limits for emission. Keeping your car’s engine in good shape will ensure that the light won’t switch on to unnerve you during a peaceful journey. The technicians in your chosen auto repair shop in Belleville, IL can ensure that your emissions will be just enough to keep you from violating any federal policy.
(Source: Check Engine Checkup, About.com)