WHY IS MY CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON?
Any of these look familier? While there are MANY reasons your check engine light may be triggered, there's typically no need to panic...
1. It might just be your gas cap
Many people don't know this, but a loose, cracked, or faulty gas cap can cause fuel to evaporate. something this simple can cause your Check Engine light to come on
So make sure your gas cap is on tight after every fuel stop. If this was the trigger, your check engine light should go off within 10 or 20 miles down the road.
2. Our certified mechanics be able to diagnose the problem easily
we have the very best in Diagnostic Tools and Scanners. These tools can read out the fault code and/or reset the system to contain no codes.
But for now, whenever that light comes on, your best bet is to give us a call and let us diagnose the problem(s).
3. It's typically not an emergency
Unlike some of the other lights in your car your check engine light rarely signals anything IMMEDIATELY disastrous.
When it comes on you're probably okay to drive a few more miles or even a few more days. With That in mind, do the smart thing and bring it in to see us as soon as you can.
4. There are numerous reasons the light may come on
Aside from a loose gas cap, all other reasons for your check engine light coming on are much more complicated to diagnose. Triggers can include everything from a damaged vacuum hose or ignition coil. to a failing catalytic converter to worn out spark plugs. These are just a few triggers.
No idea what any of that means? That's OK — most of us don't. Every car Since 1997 comes with OBD-II (On Board Diagnostics 2). This is a fault-registering system connected to sensors all over the car, engine, fuel and emissions system. There are 4,000 unique OBD2 codes that can be stored. We have the very best in Diagnistic Equipment and Cerified Technicians.
Give us a call at (904) 783-8444 or CLICK HERE to book an appointment online. We'll have you back on the road in no time at all!
THE ELECTRICAL FAULT LIGHT.
This warning light is different in every car but normally it looks like a picture of a battery, similar to the picture on the left here. You'll see it come on and go off when you start your engine as part of the car's self-test, but if this light comes on and stays on, it means the electrical charging system is no longer working properly. Think of it like a cellphone battery. If the cellphone is plugged into the charger, you can use it indefinitely, but when you disconnect it from the charger, there's a limited amount of time before your battery runs out. It's exactly the same in your car, only bigger. Every car has an alternator - the charger - and a 12v battery used to supply power to the electrical system. If the alternator becomes faulty or the drive belt to it snaps, then it will not be able to do its job. The longer you drive, the more your car will use up the remaining juice in the battery and eventually the engine will die. This almost always requires a new or refurbished alternator.
BRAKE WARNING LIGHT 1
Most cars nowadays have a brake warning light on the dash. Its purpose is to alert you that something is wrong in the braking system somewhere. If it comes on, check your owner's manual to find out its meaning. The brake warning light doesn't have a standard meaning; it could be used for multiple purposes. For example, the same light may be used to show that the hand brake (parking brake for the Americans amongst you) is on. If that's the case and you're driving, you ought to have noticed the smell of burning brake dust by now. The light can also indicate that the fluid in the master cylinder is low. Each manufacturer has a different use and standard for this light. Which is nice. Because it would be such a drag if the same indicator meant the same thing in every vehicle.
BRAKE WARNING LIGHT 2
If you've got an ABS-equipped car, you also have a second light - the ABS light. If it comes on, get it seen to as soon as possible. It means the ABS computer has diagnosed that something is amiss in the system. It could be something as simple as dirt in one of the sensors, or something as costly as an entire ABS unit replacement. Either way, if that light is on, then you, my friend, have got 1970's brakes. It's important to note that this light normally comes on when you start the car and then switches off a few seconds later. If it blinks, throbs, flashes or in any other way draws your attention to itself, then take note. It's not doing that just to please itself. Compared to a steady light, a blinking ABS light normally indicates something more serious. In some cases it could be as bad as "you have no brakes at all."
COOLANT WARNING LIGHT
This is normally the coolant level warning light. If this comes on it means that the level of coolant in your radiator is low and needs topping up. DO NOT OPEN THE RADIATOR CAP WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT! The coolant system is pressurised and it could easily release pressure and spray you with boiling coolant. Do it when the engine is cold. Top up the system with either a pre-mixed coolant bought from a shop, or with distilled water. Don't use tap water - the mineral deposits in it boil out in the cooling system and calcium gets depositted around the inside of the radiator making it less efficient (which will eventually cause it to fail). It's always best to use pre-mixed coolant, or to mix your own rather than using neat water. The coolant mixture behaves as an antifreeze in winter as well as a corrosion-inhibitor to stop your engine rusting from the inside out.
OIL WARNING LIGHT
Typically this light will come on if your oil pressure is too low. Low oil pressure is serious and if you continue to drive with this light on, eventually your engine will die. Low oil pressure can be caused by a failed oil pump, a blocked oil filter or strainer in the sump, or by low oil levels - for example if your engine is burning oil. Either way, you need to get it fixed, and fast. Low oil pressure is A Bad Thing and your engine won't thank you for leaving this problem untreated.