Car Engine

The Check Engine Light Needs To Be Checked As Soon As Possible


Obey Your Check Engine Light

Whenever your “Check Engine” or “Check” light comes on while you’re driving, you need to pay attention to it immediately. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something drastically wrong with your car, but that IS a possibility. One thing is for sure…nobody likes seeing this light on their dash.
What Happened?
The check engine light can come on for many reasons. For example, something as simple as a loose gas cap can trigger it. Other major problems, such as failed internal engine components, can turn on the light, as well. What it means is that a sensor has told the ECM (Engine Control Module) that something is out of specification and needs attention to prevent further damage. In order to really know what it is wrong with your car, it’s best to have a professional diagnose the issue.
Why Did It Turn On?
Your car’s computer will illuminate the warning whenever it detects a problem with the powertrain (engine, transmission, and other related components) that could increase tailpipe emissions, operating temperature, or any other “out of spec” event. Sometimes you will notice your engine performing quite differently when the light goes on; other times, you may notice no change at all. No matter how your vehicle performs, though, after that light goes on, it needs immediate attention to read the saved diagnostic codes.
Why Is It Flashing?
Both a solid and flashing engine check light indicates that a problem has been detected. However, a flashing engine check light indicates that it is a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. In some vehicles, instead of flashing, the light will change color from yellow to orange or red. If you see a flashing light, or if it changes color, it’s best to contact us soon as possible to prevent serious damage.
What Are The Typical Reasons It Comes On?
Mechanical Engine Issues – There’s a multitude of sensors monitoring your engine’s emissions, and anytime a component causes emission data to go out of specification, a light will be triggered. At first, your engine might run a little rough, but as time goes on this can become critical.
Transmission Issues - Part of the powertrain, the transmission works closely with the engine to move power to the wheels. If the ECM detects a problem with power delivery that brings emissions out of spec, the light goes on.
Other Modules and Sensors – There are a wide variety of body modules, electronic sensors and other devices that work together over a vast network to keep emissions in check. If one of them begins to fail, you’ll see it on the dash.
Ignition System Issues – This is the SPARK that each cylinder needs to burn the fuel to produce power. If it fails to fire at the exact right moment, it will influence the emissions and trigger a light. If this is the source of a light, your vehicle will likely run rough, and continue to get worse.
Air/Fuel Ratio – Anytime the computer can sense the improper air/fuel ratio, the light will go on. When this happens, you might notice a slight miss, or loss of performance.
What To Do When The Light Appears
You won’t know what the check engine light truly means until you have your car diagnosed by a professional. The warning could indicate something simple and harmless – or something serious that could cause further damage to your vehicle.
If your engine light turns on, you may want to try tightening the gas cap, as firmly tightening the cap could solve the problem. If the light turns off, there’s no need to get your car serviced. If the light is still on, it could indicate a more serious problem with your vehicle.

Don’t risk a serious breakdown that could cost you thousands of dollars. If your check engine light is on, have a professional diagnose and repair the issue right away.

For more information please call Aztecas Muffler & Brakes.

Ready Set Start

Ignition system

The beginning of racing season is the perfect time of the year to “start your engine”. Whether you are on the track or driving through town, it’s important to make sure your ignition system is working properly. Addressing problems that may lead to ignition system failure is essential for dependable vehicle operation, so you will not be left stranded at the starting lines or the parking lots.

Many systems on your car work together to keep you on the go, and the most important is the ignition system. Symptoms of ignition problems include dimming of headlights and interior lights, illuminated ‘Check Engine’ and/or battery lights and failure of accessories to operate.

Driving habits such as frequent engine on/off cycles cause more wear on the starter than a simple trip back and forth to work. Other factors, including driving and weather conditions, mileage, vehicle age and excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems, can impact the ignition system as well. Since the fuel injection system and car battery are linked to the ignition system, a problem can be difficult to diagnose because it may be caused by one of many factors, such as a dead car battery, faulty ignition switch, worn out spark plugs, bad fuel injectors, ignition coil problems, fuel pump failure or starter motor failure.

For more information please call Aztecas Muffler & Brakes .

Recognizing the Signs

Check engine light

It’s not always easy to recognize when your vehicle is suffering from engine damage as symptoms can be overlooked and seen as “normal.” While not all sounds and smells may threaten the life of your engine, there are some obvious warning signs that require a vehicle inspection right away.

Early diagnosis of engine damage can most likely be treated, but it is important to be aware of potentially damaging symptoms and have the vehicle inspected if something doesn’t seem right. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs as soon as possible, you could be saving yourself from the cost and hassle of breaking down along the road.

One of the signs of engine trouble is an illuminated check engine light. This light indicates that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally. Ignoring the check engine light can negatively impact your fuel economy or cause damage resulting in more costly repairs.

Many motorists are familiar with the noises their vehicles make daily. However, any noise that is new, different or suspicious may indicate a problem, including a high-pitched squeal, grinding or thumping. Sounds under the hood, such as hissing, can also indicate that your vehicle needs attention.

Although all cars burn fossil fuels that create undesired emissions, these odors should remain outside of the car. Unusual smells that could signal engine damage include burnt rubber, hot oil, gasoline, the sweet smell of syrup, burning carpet and rotten eggs. When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Another symptom of engine damage is excessive amounts of smoke or steam. Although some smoke is normal, excessive amounts of dark smoke indicate that oil is leaking into the combustion chamber and is being burned along with the gasoline.

At Aztecas Muffler & Brakes, your complete automotive care center in Chicago, Cicero, Berwyn, and Oak Forest, IL we install only quality replacement parts. Give us a call and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road. We serve Chicago and the surrounding areas.