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Dickson's 1st Auto Repair Blog

That Pesky Check Engine Lamp

A malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), commonly referred to as the "Check Engine Light", is a warning lamp to indicate malfunction of a computerized engine management system. It is found on the instrument panel of most automobiles. When illuminated, it is typically either an amber or red color. On vehicles equipped with OBD II diagnostics, the light has two stages: steady indicating a minor fault such as a loose gas cap or failing sensor and flashing indicating a severe fault, that will eventually destroy the catalytic converter, such as a misfire. When the MIL is lit, the engine control module stores a fault code related to the malfunction, which can be retrieved with a diagnostic scan tool and used for further diagnosis. The malfunction indicator lamp usually bears the legend check engine, service engine soon, or a picture of an engine. 
If a fault occurs during a test cycle the lamp will illuminate. It takes 3 test cycles with a fault detected in each cycle to come on if failure is of a performance nature. The lamp will illuminate on 1 failure during a test cycle with a safety related fault. In some cases the is a warning indicator that may be of a more minor nature, however many cases delay in checking can result in a much more expensive repair in the future. Most repair facilitys offer an inexpensive test to inform you of your options. There are also auto parts stores that will "pull codes" for free but many times the individual doin this does not have the technical exspertise to understand what is found. Beware of the "free check" as it does in many cases become expensive.
If you MIL indicator is on, please don't just ignore. It has something really important to tell you. Your vehicles life may just depend on it.

29 Comments to That Pesky Check Engine Lamp:

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Garry Wood on Friday, December 04, 2015 5:58 AM
The engine light lamp must be checked in duly time because it indicates the malfunctioning of computerizes engine management system and it works like that if any fault occurs in the engine then the lamp glows and indicates the user that some engine faults are occurring and sometimes an alarm sounds to warn the user that the faults is occurring. If the engine lamp didn't glow then there is some problem with the detection. For this requisite problem the user should consult a best mechanic who can fix the problem in time. Some service dealer are there who can fix the problem with 20-30% less service cost than any other dealers.
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Usman Khan on Thursday, December 17, 2015 6:38 AM
In well expensive and high technological cars the systems are very powerful and active and very faster in access. So, in order to know the faults that are slowly developing in the engine management system the cars are to be fixed with some sensors that works actively that helps in the detection of the arise of the faults in the system. The car now-a-days are affixed with sensing capillaries that have the capacity to sense the defected part and indicate in return by some alarm or by some flickering of light. So, these cars need complete electronic diagnostics and computer module test for maintaining its performance. So, the car owner must go in search of a good service dealer.
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