Check Engine Light
Portland Drivers Must Know How to Respond to a Check Engine Light
As Portland’s premier auto shop, Bridgetown Automotive fields a large variety of questions. And one question that seems to continuously come up is, “What should I do if my check engine light comes on?” Most drivers readily recognize that a check engine light signals problems, but they do not know the severity of those problems, and do not know what action they should take. Should drivers pull immediately to the side of the road? Should drivers have their car towed? The answer to these questions is no, but drivers should take swift action to have their car or truck looked at by a professional at Bridgetown Automotive. Doing so is the single-most important thing they can do to ensure that no further damage befalls their automobile.
What kinds of problems does a check engine light signify?
The truth of the matter is that check engine lights can indicate any number of issues. On one end of the spectrum, a check engine light can be a warning of something as simple as a gas lid that needs tightening. On the other end of the spectrum, the check engine light can indicate serious problems with the vehicle’s engine. Until a driver has a professional ascertain the cause of the light, he or she should be wary of driving a car displaying a check engine light.
How does Bridgetown Automotive determine the source of the problem when a check engine light is displayed in a vehicle?
Modern vehicles are controlled in large part by on board computers. When these computers recognize a problem with the inner workings of a vehicle, they send a signal to the dash that lights the check engine light. The computer then stores a code that describes the problem, which can be read by a diagnostic tool. Most people do not have these diagnostic tools in their home garage, and must rely on professionals to perform the diagnosis. Bridgetown Automotive has the full range of diagnostics tools and can quickly determine the problem when a check engine light is displayed.
What should drivers do if their check engine light appears?
There are a few things drivers can do to protect their vehicles if the check engine light appears. First of all, they should make sure that no other problems are apparent by checking the other gauges on their dash. If the car or truck is overheating or low on oil, for instance, they should pull over immediately and allow the vehicle to cool or fill the oil. Another thing drivers should do is make sure their gas cap is secure, as a loose gas cap is a very common reason for check engine lights to display. If the light appears while the car is towing a load or being driven at high speeds, drivers should reduce their load and/or slow down to see if the light turns off. After doing all of these things, drivers should then call Bridgetown Automotive to have a technician use the proper diagnostics tools and inspect the vehicle. The technicians at Bridgetown Automotive can thoroughly examine the vehicle and determine if any action should be taken to preserve the life of the car or truck.