My check engine light just came on, what should I do?
When you car’s check engine light (on some cars it’s called “Service Engine Soon”) comes on and stays on it’s an indication that the On-Board Diagnostic System (OBD for short) has detected a problem.
The OBD system is primarily concerned with things that affect your car’s exhaust emissions which also means it monitors things that control fuel mileage, shorten engine life and cause excessive air pollution. These are things that left unfixed can lead to more expensive repairs.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this position? Relax, don’t panic, the good news is that most newer cars have such powerful micro-processors (computers) that they can roughly compensate for the problem at hand so that you can continue to drive your car, sometimes without even noticing any change in the way the car runs.
It someone were to call us at this point we might recommend they drive the car for a few days to see if the light might go out on its own. If it does it is referred to as an “Intermittent Fault”. In other words it is not always present. If that is the case we will ask them to call us back if the light comes back on and we will schedule the car for diagnosis. If the light doesn’t go off and stays on for several days we will ask that you call us back to schedule the car for diagnosis to determine what part has failed and to create an estimate to repair the problem.