The check engine light is one of the most
misunderstood indicator lights on your dashboard. This is because most of the
time when the light comes on the vehicle seems to be running just fine. It
feels like a false alarm. Chances are good that the underlying problem is
something simple and easy to fix. Then again, it could mean big bucks.
If that light comes on and your vehicle is not
driving any differently than normal, you need to understand that your car is
working overtime to do this for you. The ECM (Electronic Control Module) or computer that controls the
engine operation is constantly monitoring and adjusting dozens of components,
various sensors and other electronic devices to provide you a smooth ride. So
even though everything seems to be working, when the computer senses that there
is a problem it turns on that your check engine light to tell you that there is
a problem, and stores a code(s) in the computer’s memory.
You can keep turning it off, and keep resetting it to
your hearts content, but it will keep on coming back on until whatever set it
off in the first place is fixed, replaced or repaired.
There could be hundreds of different reasons why that
pesky light comes on. It is very common that a check engine light will lead to
a sensor that needs replacing. This being said, after having one sensor
replaced it is not uncommon for that darn light to come back on again. It is
infuriating for the customer and uncomfortable for the shop. It’s nothing
the shop did wrong, it’s just there are a number of sensors in your vehicle,
and it’s very common to have more than one
fail at the same time. The shop may now recommend replacing another sensor or
want to do further diagnosis because the first bad sensor was masking a problem
with another system. Most mechanics hate complicated engine problems. Make sure
you go to a shop that specializes in your make and model of vehicle and has
lots of experience dealing with check engine lights.
Best Of Luck,
〉 Answered on Mar 10th, 2007 by Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd