Engine Diagnostic

Engine Diagnostic

Auto Repair Engine Diagnostic

Engine Diagnostic

Any modern vehicle is now equipped with some kind of on-board computer diagnostic system (OBDII). What this computer does is watch and monitor major systems operating in your vehicle. If a system starts doing something strange or malfunctions, the OBDII will turn on a service engine or check engine light that lets you know something is going on.

When Should I Have My Engine Serviced?

When it comes to engine diagnostics, what matters is that when you see a dashboard light that alerts you that something is amiss, you visit an auto service shop as soon as you can. However, it is also suggested that you have your engine checked about once a year, even if you haven’t noticed any check engine lights. This will ensure everything is still working okay.

Why Is it Important to Have Regular Maintenance?

There are many things that can go wrong with a vehicle engine and in many cases, these things are hard to pinpoint even for a professional if they aren’t using a diagnostic tool. As such, if you have a check engine light on, the diagnostic services give insight into what is going wrong. There are many reasons that a check engine light might come on, including the following:

  • Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor – This is a common problem, as the O2 sensor can fail for many reasons. However, because this part helps with fuel-to-air ratio, if it’s not working, your fuel economy can drop rapidly. 
  • Failing Catalytic Convertor – Another common cause of the check engine light is a failed catalytic convertor. This is a big problem since the part is very expensive to repair, but important to have functioning in your vehicle.
  • Lost or Loose Fuel Cap – Having a loose or lost gas cap can trigger a check engine warning. It also contributes to gas evaporating. Tightening the gas cap is a simple fix and replacing a cap will only cost you a few dollars.
  • Malfunctioning Mass Air Flow Sensor – When the mass air flow sensor is not working correctly, it can decrease your fuel economy to a large degree. The mass air flow sensor measures the air coming into the engine and how much fuel should be injected.
  • Faulty Ignition Coil – Another common issue is when an ignition coil needs repair. This is something that is important to fix, as it can lead to other problems, including failure of the catalytic convertor.
  • Bad Spark Plugs and Wires – Spark plugs that have gone bad can pull up the check engine light. This is something that is easy to do on your own, but can also be done easily by a technician. Again, this part can lead to other parts malfunctioning.
  • Malfunctioning EVAP Purge Control Valve – This is a component that keeps gas vapors from the gas tank being released into the air. Instead, it moves them into a canister to burn them in the engine. The valve can stick over time, requiring replacement.
  • Thermostat Replacement – Another common problem that brings up the dreaded engine check light is a thermostat that isn’t working. This can happen if the coolant hasn’t been changed as it should be or even if the vehicle has been driven in extreme weather.
  • EVAP Purge Solenoid Replacement – A final reason that is common when it comes to check engine lights is an issue with the EVAP purge solenoid. This controls the amount of vapor from fuel that escapes into the air. 

What Will a Technician Do to Determine What’s Wrong?

In most cases, what will happen is a technician will do a scan of your vehicle’s computer using specialized equipment. This will bring back diagnostic trouble codes, along with descriptions of those codes. At that point, the technician can check a database that mentions any diagnostic trouble codes that have been issued by the manufacturer. This will let them understand what is causing the light and how to fix it.

Beyond that, there are other options. The technician may do a road test to determine that the complaint you have is currently occurring. They will also check the engine compartment visually to see if any obvious problems are unearthed. They may do an analysis of the charging and battery system. Other tests may be required such as spark plugs, compression, fuel pressure, or testing of other components.

Once this is complete, you will learn what is malfunctioning and what your options are. The technician will give you an estimate for the repair and you can decide what to do from there. If you want to have the repair done, that may need to be scheduled or it may be something that can done on the same day.

More Information About Engine Diagnostics

At Kwik Kar, we provide specialized equipment to quickly and efficiently determine why you might be experiencing a check engine light. Often, this is all that is required before moving on to more specialized procedures. However, other inspections and testing may be required, depending on the component that is malfunctioning or not working. 

If you are curious to learn more about our services, or want to bring in your vehicle for a service, you can reach us at 972-644-1851. You can also send us an email at [email protected]. We’ll get a timely response back to you as soon as possible. We are always available for help and look forward to hearing from you.