Your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions are managed by many sensors and computerized components. The “check engine” light may illuminate with the failure of one of these components. Even if your vehicle is running fine, to prevent long-term problems it is important to have the issue addressed.
Find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! There is a risk of major engine damage if your vehicle overheats for too long. Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed.
You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The timing belt is responsible for synchronizing the engine and its functions. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
Some people think the trouble code stored by the vehicle computer will tell the auto repair technician exactly what is wrong. Unfortunately diagnosis and troubleshooting is usually just not that simple. The trouble code will tell the mechanic what sensor reading is abnormal, but it can't tell the technician why. Trouble codes provide a place to begin problem diagnosis and help narrow down the possible causes of a check engine light.
Anyone can scan a vehicle for trouble codes but only a certified, experienced auto repair technician can correctly diagnose the problem and repair it correctly. Finding the source of the problem is a combination of training, experience, and the right tools.