Auto Repair Shop in Centennial, CO
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With the advanced complexity of the modern automobile engine, most shops/garages use scanning tools to diagnose problems, and carry through with repairs.
The second version of the on-board diagnostic system (OBDII) is standard equipment in all vehicles made in the U.S. since 1996. Vehicles come with an “engine management computer,” so that a mechanic can scan and download data concerning an engine’s fuel supply, electronics, or air filters – a general broad survey of the engine performance. The scan can tell if a problem is actually in the engine, or if there’s a glitch in the computer system.
When the computer perceives a problem, it activates the vehicle’s “check engine” light, and the driver is alerted. The light indicates a problem that could affect your fuel economy, or exhaust system. You can’t reset the check engine light, but it will go off automatically if the problem doesn’t show up a second time. Give the computer a couple of days for re-testing, and then, if the light is still on, get the vehicle checked out before things get worse.
Sometimes, something very minor can cause the check engine light to come on. In order to prevent this from happening, take these few precautions:
- Avoid over-filling the gas tank – it can falsely register a problem in the evaporation emission control system (EVAP).
- Check that you replaced the gas cap, and strap, after fueling-up.
- Get regular oil changes.
- Use good-quality air filters, and have them installed professionally.
- Take your vehicle in for timely tune-ups.
- Do what you can to prevent corrosion of the vehicle’s computer wiring – keep dirt out.
- Use vehicle-compatible replacement parts.
The computer also keeps what is called the “correspondent diagnostic trouble code”(DTC) in its memory bank. Some detected problems will induce a “freeze frame” of the area of the engine where the problem has been spotted, just at the moment it was found. A mechanic can retrieve all of this information using his scanner, and match up the code in a service manual that he will have on hand, which describes what the various codes mean, and tells the mechanic what parts to test, and where to look to get to the root of the problem, and make repairs.
The technology of automotive diagnostics testing can be hard for the average owner to comprehend, but a professional facility can service a vehicle with know-how, and efficiency.