The Scary unplanned light, some vehicles call it a check engine light, some a Service Engine Soon light, some just have a picture of an engine. The industry calls it a MIL-Malfunction indicator Lamp. However, this scary light isn’t always so scary. Basically, the light means the car’s computer has identified a problem in the system.
What kind of problem? One that more than likely requires professional attention, from a professional technician. It needs to have the computer system scanned and checked to identify what the problem(s) are. The light is just the computer's way of telling you to have your car checked. It found a problem- often one you probably wouldn’t have noticed during normal driving- and it needs to be checked before it becomes a serious problem and has the potential to affect other components.
Why does the system need a check engine light? Because it's a complex system that helps you monitor its performance and diagnose the problems. Computers in today's car are highly complex, so the system is designed to monitor operations and send codes when it identifies a problem.
Most of the time the light indicates a problem that’ll increase emissions. Today’s cars are designed to run cleaner than older cars, so those emissions don’t have to increase much to turn the light on. Still, the check engine light is something to get checked out. Keep in mind that when your vehicle has increased emissions it’s probably also burning more gas, and with gas prices today you may not want to ignore it.
Pumping additional fuel through the engine forces the catalytic converter to work overtime to burn off the excess carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. This will cause the catalytic converter to overheat and burn it out in just a few miles. Replacing a catalytic converter is an expensive repair and one that needs to be done before your vehicle will pass New York State Emissions.
We are equipped with the latest test equipment for diagnosing today's computer systems. We can scan your car's computer system and check for codes, examine the circuits and systems to track down any problems and bring those systems back into proper operating conditions. If you have any questions, check engine lights, or want to make an appointment please call us at (845) 522-8104.