A vehicle engine is a complex assortment of parts. It works like a finely-tuned machine, and to keep it running smoothly, it needs regular attention and care. The first indicator that something is wrong with an engine is the appearance of one or more trouble codes.
Trouble codes are detected by the engine’s computer system (ECM). The computer stores these codes in its memory and then activates the check car engine light on the dashboard to alert the driver that there is a problem with the vehicle’s emission control.
What Does Your Check Car Engine Light Mean?
We have all seen that little orange light on the dashboard of our vehicle come on. It flashes and then stays solid. We are told to check the owner’s manual to find out what the light means. This is where most people stop, but there is more to it than that. In order to fix your car, you have to know what the orange light means and how serious it is.
If the light comes on while you are driving, you should pull over and check your manual. If you are not sure what to do, pull over and call a tow truck or have a AAA club member come out and give you a ride. In some cars, if the light is flashing it means there is an electrical problem and you could lose power while driving.
If the light is on solid, you should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Turn the car off and wait a few minutes to see if the light will go off. If not, you may have a problem with your emission control system, causing a check car engine light.
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Check Car Engine Light Flashing While Accelerating?
If the check engine light comes on while you are driving, go to the nearest safe place and turn off your car. If the light is flashing, there may be an electrical problem and you could lose power while driving. If the light is solid, you need to determine if it is flashing a code. This can be done by hooking your car up to a scanner. Some auto parts stores do this for free, and they may have the code for free too.
If the check engine light is flashing a code, there is something wrong with your emission control system. It could be as small as a vacuum hose that has come loose.
If you have an older car, the problem may be something major like an oxygen sensor or catalytic converter going bad. Code P0420 means there is not enough voltage getting to your catalytic converter to keep it working correctly. This can be caused by a faulty oxygen sensor or vacuum leak in the exhaust system.
If you don’t want to take your car to the shop, you could try checking some things yourself first. A bad fuse or wire leading to the catalytic converter might cause this problem too.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Issue?
The cost to fix a check engine light on a car will depend on what is causing the problem. Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can cost anywhere from $100 to $500.
Replacing a catalytic converter could cost from $450 to $1,200, depending on the make and model of your car. If you choose not to fix the problem yourself, it will probably cost more than if you do the work yourself.
You will need to find an auto repair shop or mechanic to have the issue diagnosed. They will hook up their computer scanner to your car and read the trouble codes. They can then tell you what is wrong with your car and how much it will cost to fix.
4 Step Guide On How To Disable Check Engine Light Permanently:
1. Clear trouble codes
The first step is to re-enable the check engine light (CEL). Your car will not start if the CEL is on. This is called the powertrain MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light). You can clear it a couple different ways.
The first way is to drive your car for about 20 minutes at an average speed of 60 mph or more. If you can’t do that, then you need to reset it by disconnecting your battery for 30 minutes. The third way is to disconnect the negative cable from the battery and touch it with a metal object for approximately five seconds.
This will reset your check engine light permanently. This method should work in most cars manufactured after 1996, but it’s best to consult your owner’s manual to verify this information.
2. Check code using OBD II scanner tool or scan tool
After you have cleared the fault codes, you need to check the OBD II codes to see if there is a new problem. Use an OBD II scanner tool or scan tool to retrieve the codes.
3. Replace parts
Once you have determined the cause of the check engine light, order replacement parts and a factory service manual, then replace the parts listed in your manual. If you are unsure which parts need to be replaced, consult a professional for advice on how to fix your car.
4. Clear fault codes again and test drive your vehicle
Finally, clear all fault codes again by disconnecting your battery or driving at 60 mph for 20 minutes. Then re-enable the check engine light and test drive your vehicle to ensure that it runs properly without any further problems with the emission control system.
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