When your check engine light is on, your car is talking to you through the engine control unit. Especially in Phoenix where the extreme climate wears engine components faster, a check engine light is a problem leading to a question of when, not if, something will fail.
If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at highway speeds, tow, or haul heavy loads. Take it easy driving in.
Should you bring your car into to see what is causing it to stay lit – YES. It could be more than 1 thing.
A vehicle’s engine control unit has access to a variety of devices in the car - codes define the nature of the problem. An engine control unit will check the airbag, turning signals and other courtesy lights for consistency and functionality as well as monitor the temperature of your oil and other important readouts of the vehicle. Newer vehicles can have up to 80 functions of the engine control unit. Every car has many functioning computers controlling multiple functions – more than 1 could be failing.
The check engine light control unit typically controls:
- Water Temperature Correction – This function adds more fuel into the engine and warms it up a little faster so your car can get normal operating temperature from a cold engine.
- Variable Valve Timing – Certain valves need to open and close at a specific time in the engine cycle with these specific vehicles. This will ensure the optimum economy and power of your engine.
- Fuel Mixture –Carefully measured levels of fuel and oxygen are required for combustion. Without the proper fuel mixture, your car’s average fuel economy may be suffering, and your car may be running too hot or too cold.
- Ignition Timing –Spark plugs should be firing at the correct time. Engine misfire is caused by the misfiring of spark plugs, which can lead to a knocking or pinging sound in your engine.
- Idle Speed –Your engine’s Revolutions per Minute (RPM) are tracked while at rest. If your car is equipped with a Full Authority Throttle Control, cruise control and top speed limitations are also controlled by the same system.
- Fuel Pressure Modifier –if your fuel pressure is abnormally low, this increases the fuel injection fire time.
Dayes Automotive has state-of-the-art diagnostic tools will provide readouts for a car tune up to get your vehicle to its original factory standards and ensure that your vehicle is running at maximum performance. Our trusty mechanics will identify what the check engine light is saying and how best to treat it at a reasonable price to get you on the Phoenix roads again quickly.
Stay Cool –
Tim and Kent