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FAQ: Diagnosing A Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light, Service Engine Soon LightQuestion: My “Check Engine” light on the dashboard came on last week, but my SUV is still running OK.  Does that mean the problem is minor and can wait awhile?

Answer: Seeing that “Check Engine” light glow on your dashboard is never a welcome surprise. And even though your vehicle still seems to be running OK, you do want to address the “Check Engine” light sooner than later.

Why You Don’t Want to Procrastinate with a “Check Engine Light”

Why do you want to address it now? To prevent one problem from becoming a bigger one or to prevent one faulty part from ruining another part. For example, if an oxygen sensor is failing and you let it go, it can ruin or shorten the life of the catalytic converter behind it. And replacing a catalytic converter costs significantly more than an oxygen sensor alone.

There are more than 1,400 reasons the light can come on, so without seeing the vehicle, it’s impossible to say if your vehicle’s experiencing a major or minor malfunction. And unlike cars from many years ago, it’s typical for today’s vehicle not to show any symptoms. This is because the computer controls are so sophisticated that they can adapt to change conditions, effectively masking the problem(s).

The good news in all of this is that Auto Lab can help. We’re here to diagnose your ‘Check Engine’ light correctly, repair the problem the first time, and get you back on the road with minimal down time.

How We Diagnose a “Check Engine” Light

Through the years, we’ve performed diagnostic testing on thousands of “Check Engine”  lights. When a client brings their vehicle in because of a “Service Engine” light, we will:

  • Assign a trained, certified and experienced technician to your vehicle.
  • Scan your vehicle’s on-board computer diagnostic system with state-of-the-art scan tools.
  • Review the diagnostic trouble codes stored in the system to see which vehicle system(s) is having the problem.
  • Perform pinpoint testing to determine which part or parts have failed.
  • Recommend the appropriate repair.
  • Test drive the vehicle to make sure the problem is resolved.

And we back all of our repairs with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. You will drive home with peace of mind and without an annoying dashboard light.

It’s Your Car’s Way of Communicating

Think of your ‘Check Engine’ light as a tap on the shoulder. Your car is trying to get your attention—and you don’t want to ignore it.

Whether your car needs a gas cap or a catalytic converter, the Auto Lab team is here for you.