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You Can’t Afford to Ignore Your Check Engine Light! Here’s Why

The “check engine light.” Almost every vehicle has one. And nearly every driver has haplessly ignored this not-so-subtle indicator. However, every time you do, you ignore it at your peril. 

In either case, this light is your vehicle's way of saying, "Hey, Sir/Madam… something isn't exactly right with me." Fortunately, the problem is usually minor and easily remedied, such as a dislodged or missing fuel cap. 

But this isn't always the situation. Whether it's a serious issue or a minor malfunction today, you can't afford to ignore it. Here's why. Ignoring it could: 

  • put you and your loved ones in a hazardous situation
  • turn a molehill of automotive repairs into a whole mountain range of repair

Unfortunately, one of our favorite clients in Blowing Rock, NC learned this the hard way while checking both boxes. As he ignored his check engine light, he placed the lives of those he loved at risk and turned a minor $50.00 repair into an exponentially more expensive $5,000 repair! 

Watch the owner of L&N Performance Auto Repair, Lucas Underwood, explain how this all-too-common scenario played out for the client.

Let's look at the check engine light and why it should never be ignored. And if it is illuminated, don't hesitate to contact the mechanics at L&N Performance Auto Repair for a free diagnosis.

What Is the Check Engine Light?

Most vehicles in Blowing Rock, NC and the rest of the world are equipped with smart onboard diagnostics (OBD) systems

Automotive manufacturers began standardizing these systems with OBD-II in vehicles manufactured in 1996 and the newer ones. The OBD-II implemented various diagnostic trouble codes and required every vehicle to offer a universal connector that provided access to the data.

If your engine’s computer— the Electronic Control Unit (ECU)— senses something is awry, it will trigger and illuminate the check engine light. This indicator is also known as the multifunction indicator lamp (MIL).

Depending on your vehicle's manufacturer, your light could be amber, yellow, or orange. Once the light comes on, one or more diagnostic trouble codes will be stored on your vehicle's computer.

These trouble codes will remain available even when the light goes out. To determine the cause of the illuminated light, our mechanics will retrieve the codes with our state-of-the-art OBD-II scanner. Our mechanic will then troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

What Can Cause the Check Engine Light to Come On?

Several scenarios can cause your check engine light to turn on. Most vehicles we service in Blowing Rock, NC with an illuminated check engine light have relatively straightforward causes. 

When properly and promptly handled, the issues are considered minor repairs. However, these minor issues can cause other components to fail when left unattended, exponentially increasing your repair bill. 

In either case, some of the most common causes of check engine codes include:

  1. Spark plug replacement
  2. Ignition coil replacement
  3. Catalytic converter replacement
  4. Fuel cap replacement or tightening
  5. Mass airflow sensor replacement
  6. Fuel injector replacement
  7. Evaporative emissions purge control valve replacement
  8. Evaporative emissions purge solenoid replacement
  9. Thermostat replacement

What Does a Flashing Check Engine Light Mean?

An illuminated or solid check engine light should never be ignored. However, if it’s flashing or blinking, it's usually because the ECU has detected a mechanical or electrical problem with the engine. 

A flashing check engine light signals an emergency and requires immediate repair. The more you drive a vehicle with a blinking light, the more damage you will cause to your engine. You should have your vehicle towed to our auto repair shop in Blowing Rock, NC

A solid check engine light may not require such decisive action as a blinking one. Still, it would be best if you had your vehicle checked out by the L&N Performance Auto Repair as soon as possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Troubleshoot Check Engine Light?

On average, most mechanics will charge around $100.00 to troubleshoot and diagnose an illuminated or solid check engine light. However, at L&N Performance Auto Repair, we proudly offer free diagnostics service. 

Simply bring your vehicle to our facility in Blowing Rock, NC. Our experienced mechanics will quickly use our state-of-the-art equipment to retrieve the trouble codes and diagnose the issue.

Once we determine the codes, we will offer you unbiased advice and guidance to help remedy the problem in the most cost-efficient manner.

Contact L&N Performance Auto Repair for Free Check Engine Diagnostics in Blowing Rock, NC

Contrary to popular belief, a steady or illuminated check engine light isn't an Easter Egg secret on your vehicle. It's simply your vehicle's way of communicating something is wrong. 

In most instances, the "something" is minor. But if you allow it to go unattended, the small issue can impact other parts and quickly evolve into exponentially more expensive repairs. Simultaneously, it can put you and your loved ones at risk.

The best solution: schedule an appointment at L&N Performance Auto Repair in Blowing Rock, NC. We offer fast and free check engine light diagnostics. This way, you can understand the underlying problem and the level of urgency, then decide whether the repair is a must-have or something you may be able to schedule later. 

Either way, L&N Performance Auto Repair in Blowing Rock, NC can help. Call us at 828-266-9077 or make an online appointment. You can also stop by our auto repair shop at 189 Mystery Hill Lane, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

Written by L&N Performance Auto Repair