What Check Engine Light Tells You
When the onboard diagnostic or OBD system for your car pops up an alert Check Engine Light, then it must be taken as a sign of some problem. Today the performance of the vehicles is controlled and monitored by a computerised system by regulating the variables like fuel mixture, ignition timing, shifting with an automatic transmission and the speed of the engine.
The digital system of your car stores the code of trouble into its memory and turns on a yellow warning indicator when its electronic system detects a problem but cannot resolve it. One can quickly identify the possible reason of the problem with the help of these diagnostic trouble codes or DTC. To assist the technicians in identifying and resolving the problem initially the manufacturers of the vehicles used OBD but the effectiveness of this system varies with the vehicle’s model, brand and year of make.
The capabilities of basic systems were variable as some focus on checking the working of hooked up electronic sensors of the vehicle along with its performance. When, according to the need of federal law for automotive emission, OBD II systems were introduced the vehicle manufacturers were compelled to install a more sophisticated system to work as a built-in monitoring station for vehicle’s emissions. So, to indicate the problem in the emission system of the vehicle the option Check Engine Light was reserved.
Many people confuse the check engine light with the service interval or maintenance reminder light which usually illuminates according to the amount of fuel consumed, mileage, or some measurement of vehicle-use.
Meaning of Check Engine Light
The option Check engine Light illuminates into types, constant and blinking, according to the kind of problem. If the light is constant, then no emergency is indicated but if it blinks then can be a serious problem of misfire in the engine which can allow unburned fuel into its exhaust system. It can cause damage the catalytic converter of your vehicle by raising its temperature, which can increase the cost of its repairing. You should reduce the power when it happens and search for a technician. You should get your vehicle checked as soon as possible by a qualified technician regardless of the style of a warning light.
Things to do when Check Engine Light is on
Check for any serious problem needing instant attention
First of all, you should check the lights and gauges on the dashboard indicating for overheating or low pressure of the oil. In such condition, you should find a safe place to shut off your vehicle’s engine as soon as possible.
Tighten the gas cap
Sometimes it resolves your problem as some vehicles have a separate indicator to warn the driver about the loose gas cap before turning on the option of Check engine Light. But you may have to tighten the gas cap several times until the warning light turns off.
Reduce the load and speed of the car
If the warning light blinks, then it may indicate some serious problem like loss of power. In such condition, you should try to reduce the speed and load of your vehicle’s engine as soon as possible. You should get it checked immediately to avoid further damage to the engine.
Get the problem fixed after reading its code
You should tow away your vehicle to a qualified service professional to read the code and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. The trained technician will quickly diagnose the problem by reading and interpreting the meaning of the law. The code indicates about testing the circuit or system to eliminate the real trouble in the vehicle. The test of every system or circuit indicated by the code should be done thoroughly step-by-step. Otherwise, the whole effort will be useless. You will get the exact value of resistance, voltage, time specifications and temperature of your vehicle’s engine through these tests.
Other things to focus on
Condition of the battery and charging system as they are crucial for practical working of vehicle’s electronic controls
The rating of battery should match with the cranking amperage required by your vehicle
Condition of the serpentine, fan or alternator belt on the vehicle as it can …