Check Engine Light

When Your Check Engine Light Comes On, Don't Panic


For many years now, Auto Manufacturers have had a standardized warning system called the Check Engine Light.   If it were to be more accurately called, "Check Pollution" perhaps drivers would ignore the light even more than they do already.  But that would often be a better description.  Various sensors throughout your vehicle are measuring the pollution to ensure it meets the same limits the vehicle was designed for originally.

Ignoring your check engine light for too long can sometimes lead to an expensive repair.  At Quick Lane Orangeville, no appointment is necessary to come in and have us retrieve the code absolutely free of charge.  That is only step one in performing a proper diagnosis, but at least it can indicate if the issue is serious or can be attended to at a later point by keeping the code on file with your vehicle.

Your Check Engine Light illuminates when these sensors see something they don’t like.  At the same time, a diagnostic code is stored in your vehicles computer to help the technician understand what might have happened.  For example, if one of the engines' cylinders did not properly burn all the gas in that cylinder, this is called a Mis-Fire.   The result is that harmful vapors are entering your exhaust system.  Your vehicle also has sensors that compare the pressure inside and outside of your fuel tank to determine if raw gasoline if evaporating into the atmosphere.

None of us should ignore a polluting vehicle.  However, what this also means to the driver is that they maybe impacting the fuel economy in a negative way.  Did your Remote Start stop working?  It will do that when a check engine light is on.   Ever heard of a MAF Sensor?  That is Mass Air Flow and these thin hair like wires are measuring the air after it goes through the Air Filter.  It will look at things like Oxygen Density (essential for higher altitudes) 

One of the more expensive repairs caused by ignoring your Check Engine light is the catalytic convertor.  It is designed to clean your emissions and when unburnt gasoline enters a hot catalytic convertor, the system can heat up and melt the insides.  Catalytic Convertors are often made with rare metals such as Platinum or Palladium.  When thieves want to steal them, you know they are expensive.

Check Engine lights can be tricky to diagnose because they sometimes go out and after multiple restarts the onboard computer system will erase the codes and make it impossible to diagnose the problem.

So, if you have a check engine light on in your vehicle of any make or model, bring it into Quick Lane Orangeville at 670 Riddell Road at your earliest convenience.  We will not charge you to retrieve the code and then together we can discuss what if anything should be done next.  We are open until 8PM four nights per week and Saturdays until 4.


Check Engine Light