If you’re driving down the road and a warning light comes on do you know what to do? If you’re not familiar with your dashboard lights first and foremost check your manual. Often times this will help you assess if you can continue to drive the vehicle safely or if you need to be towed. From there you can give us a call and we’ll help you out. How?
What makes a warning light come on?
Today’s vehicles are made with complex systems, much like the various systems of our bodies; Think cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems for example. Rather than being entirely independent of one another they’re inter-related.
With your vehicle on-board computers continuously monitor and store information concerning the performance of its systems. A warning light comes on because the computer has sensed a signal that a systems or component is operating outside the normal range. The computer then sends a signal to turn on the light to let you know something is wrong.
When warning lights can go on the car may still appear to be driving “fine” however ignoring some lights can lead to serious issues, such as engine damage or other component failure. In some instances, this can be a safety hazard. That’s why it is recommended to be safe (give yourself peace of mind) and have your car looked at by Euro Tech Colorado as soon as possible. If the lights are flashing or paired with unusual noises it is recommend that you pull over and have the vehicle towed. While a tow may seem like a nuisance continuing to drive the car could result in the need to replace more parts than originally necessary or in many cases the entire engine will need to be replaced.
How can ETC diagnose my problem?
We have the tools, training and technology to handle diagnostic issues, such as a Check Engine light. Properly performing a complete diagnostic procedure normally includes the following steps:
1. RETRIEVE DATA – A full functioning scan tool is used to perform an onboard computer system analysis in order to retrieve computer codes and data.
NOTE: Merely “pulling codes” does not generally provide enough information to make an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Pulling codes is the initial step in the process by identifying the circuit or system that has illuminated the vehicle’s check engine light.
2. VERIFICATION TESTING – Verification tests determine if systems meet proper specifications
NOTE: Failure in any of basic systems can cause the check engine light to illuminate and falsely identify a circuit or component as the problem, which could lead to improper or unnecessary parts replacement. This is why having codes pulled at auto parts stores doesn’t give you the whole picture.
3. PINPOINT TESTING – These actions involve:
- Working through wiring diagrams
- Performing electrical and/or mechanical tests
- Performing bi-directional control tests
- Visual inspections of suspect areas
4. CAR REPAIR – This may involve multiple actions such as:
- Parts replacement
- Cleaning of passages, connections and/or components
- Performing manufacturer technical service bulletin updates
- Updating of vehicle’s computer software
- Wiring repair or replacement
5. VERIFY REPAIR – Once all necessary actions have been taken, the vehicle must be retested to verify that the repair is complete and has achieved the proper results.