Check Engine Light Diagnostics and Repair – Available in Plano, TX
Since 1996, automakers in the U.S. standardized their vehicle diagnostic system in terms of the requirements of the OBD-II protocol. OBD stands for onboard diagnostics and is a system for recognizing faults that affect the safety and safe running of motor vehicles.
When the vehicle’s computer detects a serious fault, either the dreaded “Check Engine” illuminates or, in some instances, the “Service Engine Soon” light comes on. Ignoring this early warning sign could be dangerous and lead to expensive repairs.
In a modern engine, the engine control unit (ECU) continually checks and varies engine parameters according to the load. It uses highly accurate sensors to provide the best possible gas mileage and performance from your engine and transmission. When a critical sensor fails or engine performance goes outside carefully defined parameters, the check engine light may come on, indicating a fault in your engine, automatic transmission, or safety systems. With all these systems being monitored, there can be any number of reasons for an alert but there are some issues that arise more often than others.
Typical engine problems include:
- Misfire: This may be caused by faulty ignition systems and can affect drivability as well as allow unburnt fuel to poison your catalytic converter.
- Mass airflow sensor: A failed airflow sensor may cause poor performance, poor idling and poor gas mileage.
- Oxygen sensor: A failed oxygen sensor upsets the fuel-air mixture and may damage your catalytic converter.
- Loose gas cap: Yes, as strange as it seems, a loose gas cap is a problem as it affects emission control systems; Fortunately, it’s easily fixed by tightening the cap
Modern transmissions incorporate many sensors, and a failure of one, if ignored, could lead to an expensive gearbox overhaul. A few examples include:
- Fluid temperature: Overloading can overheat and burn transmission oil.
- Shift malfunctions: This happens when a transmission misses a gear or engages two gears at the same time, something that can quickly lead to gear clutch failure.
- Transmission fluid pressure: Low fluid pressure could indicate a leak, while high pressure may indicate dirty and contaminated transmission fluid.
I’ll Just Ignore It
You shouldn’t ignore the warning, nor should you fear it, as in most instances it’s simply an indication that something isn’t right and needs repair. When the Service Engine light comes on, seek help as soon as possible. This warning system is integrated into your car so that you will know as soon as a problem arises. Once the light is on, your car can’t tell you if the problem is getting worse or causing new issues so ignoring it may come at a high price. When the light comes on, it’s time to find a professional mechanic in Plano, TX to diagnose the problem.
Professional Engine Diagnostics and Repair
Diagnosing OBD-II faults requires experience and a process of elimination. Using a code reader, the technician can watch as the reader systematically works through the vehicle systems, recording all fault codes. If there are a lot of codes, the technician may clear the codes and take the vehicle for a short run to determine the codes that are making the check engine light come on. While diagnostic codes are very specific, it is still important to correctly diagnose the underlying causes, especially with the complexity of modern engines and transmissions. Skillful technicians can diagnose faults correctly without making multiple repairs that may be unnecessary. Experience teaches them what combination of codes typically stem from a specific bigger issue. Technicians can focus their attention there first rather than chasing down each and every code.
At T&K Transmission and Automotive Services, we have some of the best and most experienced technicians in the industry. We are a full-service auto repair shop. We service and repair engines, transmissions, cooling systems, brakes, air conditioning, and heating systems for all domestic and imported vehicles in Plano, TX. Call us now to schedule an appointment for maintenance service or to diagnose and resolve your check engine light concerns.