Check Engine Light

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The check engine light is a "pain", but its importance can't be overstated. Computers in cars and trucks have been in use for decades to control engine and transmission performance as well as many other components. They have been evolving to improve fuel economy, reduce pollution, improve the performance and longevity of both your engine and transmission, provide entertainment and even to smooth your ride. They all have common traits; they use battery power, wires, connections, fuses, senors and factory programs that give owners and the repair industry heart burn.

The check engine light is there to protect your vehicle and your pocket book. When it comes on it can be for dozens of reasons. The most common cause is as simple as an electronic sensor picking up on a loose or poor sealing gas cap and its purpose is to let you know gas vapors may be escaping to the atmosphere contributing to pollution in the air we breathe. Other sensors may be reporting more serious issues that if left unchecked may cost you a ride behind a tow truck or cause damage to other components.

It is important for owners to realize once the check engine is on for one reason, it will not glow brighter or flash if the computer senses another issue. Many of our customers come in with a transmission problem and when asked why the check engine light is also on they respond with "oh, its been on for a year and I don't pay it any attention". When we scan the system for codes we find many that they knew nothing about.

When, and not if, your check engine light comes on you have several options; ignore it, pull into your local parts store or drive into your trusted general mechanic for the purpose of retrieving the stored codes. By far the biggish misconception regarding the light is that a scan will report exactly what is wrong with their vehicle when in fact, it is pointing them in the direction of a circuit.

Should you want our help to discover the cause of that unpleasant light glaring back at you, it is the mission of Santa Rosa Hydramatic to provide you with an education and point you in the right direction.That direction may be back to your trusted auto technician or to one that we have "vetted" should you not have one. The one thing that is the most important is that our team at Santa Rosa Hydramatic will never knowingly lie to you. That you can count on.