Category Archives: Check Engine Light

What to do if your car's check engine light comes on

What to do if your car's check engine light comes on

It's an instant feeling of dread - heading down the highway and your check engine light comes on. Don't panic yet. It's not necessarily a big-ticket fix, although it could be. If you're lucky, it's just because your didn't screw the gas cap on tightly the last time you gassed up. However, other causes could also cost your thousands if there is major damage to your engine. In any case, you definitely want to have it checked right away by a trusted mechanic who will use an onboard diagnostics system code reader to determine the exact cause of your problem. One common cuase is an aging, faulty oxygen sensor, which can cause gas mileage to plummet and emissions to soar. If you ignore it, it can damage your catalytic converter, which can also cause your check engine light to go on. Its job is to render carbon monoxide nontoxic. If it doesn't work, it really affects gas mileage. Replacement cost is around $2,000.  Another reason your check engine light ma ... read more

Throttle body can causes vehicle to lose power

Throttle body can causes vehicle to lose power

Q. Last winter and the winter before when it was below freezing, my 2006 Chevrolet HHR displayed a "reduced engine power" message, and I couldn't go over about 5 miles per hour. This past winter when I was driving my Bichon to the vet, I had to pull over and stop the car. After a short time, I restarted the engine and had power back. Thank heavens. I didn't want my little dog and me to freeze to death. I took the car to the Chevy dealer with the Check Engine light on. They said I needed a throttle body assembly. Condensation was found in throttle body assembly and PCV system, with a need to remove and clean the intake ports and valve cover. Estimate cost, $1,154.36. They must have done something because the Check Engine warning light went out. I'm a senior woman with a really tight budget and no room for this expense. My question is do I really need it? There's no problems in the warm and mild weather. It appears only the intense cold affects the e ... read more

Check-engine light on? Check with a professional.

Check-engine light on? Check with a professional.

If your vehicle’s check-engine light goes on, don’t ignore it. Having it checked by a professional can make a big difference in long-term cost savings because it can signal anything from an expensive engine repair to something as simple as a loose gas cap. The check engine light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics OBD system and an indicator of the condition of your car’s emissions system. If it does go on, the light will do one of two things: blink, or remain constant. In either case, you’ll need the problem fixed and the light turned off in order for your vehicle to pass state inspection. According to CarMD.com ten percent of all cars on the road have a check engine light on, and more than half of them have been on for more than three months. If it’s blinking, get to a mechanic immediately, if not sooner. That blinking usually means a severe engine misfire, which lets unburned fuel into the exhaust system, overheating and damaging the cat ... read more

Most likely your Diagnosis code is only a starting point

Most likely your Diagnosis code is only a starting point

Q. I have a 2007 Camry that has a "check engine" warning light on. I took it to one of the parts stores and they told me the code was for an oxygen sensor, which I bought. I installed the sensor and cleared the codes but the light came back on. I'm a little frustrated because now I have spent money and time and still have the problem. Any ideas? A. First off, you have learned a valuable lesson with a fairly inexpensive part. You cannot make a diagnostic decision based on a code alone. This is why the so-called "free diagnostics" that some of the parts stores offer is a bit misleading. I like to make the analogy that a code will generally tell you what aisle of the supermarket where you can find an item, but it does not tell you what shelf it is on. It takes a skilled diagnostic technician armed with the code, the right tools and the proper information to get to the bottom of most DTC's (diagnostic trouble codes). With these codes, there is research to be ... read more

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