If you have been driving a car for any significant length of time, chances are you have had the check engine or service engine light come on at some point.
Many drivers assume the illumination of the check engine light is an indicator of a catastrophic issue with your vehicle's engine. This is simply not so. “Check engine” is a bit misleading.
Your vehicle's on-board computer, otherwise known as an ECM or ECU, monitors several systems in your vehicle including emissions, transmission, and fuel and air ratios among others. Just because the service engine light is lit, does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the engine itself. It could be an indicator that a potential problem has been detected in one of the systems in your vehicle.
Check Engine Lights are like a warning light. The vehicle will need to be “scanned” with a special computer to retrieve the codes in the vehicle's ECM that will tell the service technician why the light is on so repairs can be made.
Sometimes the light comes on for minor reasons that require no repair. A good example of this is when the gas cap is not tightened properly after you fuel up. The light will come on because the sensors have detected a vapor leak. Simply tightening the gas cap resolves the issue.
If your check engine light comes on in your vehicle, contact us to have the vehicles scanned to determine the cause. Vehicles will not pass state inspection if the check engine light is illuminated. Continuing to drive your vehicle with the light on without finding out why it is on could cause significant damage to your vehicle.