Check Engine Light

The dreaded malfunction indicator lamp! We’re here to help you through the process. This seems to be all a new issue for today’s automobile owners, but really it’s nothing new. Questions we always hear are. “My engine light has been on for years, but I’ve never worried about it. Why now?” or “Oh, the engine light is on but my mechanic says not to worry about it, it’s nothing serious. But can you tell me why my car is having these symptoms?” We will agree that no one really ever paid serious attention to the check engine light, unless the vehicle actually had a driveability issue.



  1. DO NOT panic. If the light is on solid, and the car seems to drive normally, the problem is NOT an urgent concern. You can schedule a convenient time to bring the car in for a diagnostic.


  1. DO NOT drive the car if the light blinks, or the car bucks, hesitates, loses power, or any similar driving concern. Further driving will likely cause avoidable damage to expensive components.


  1. The check engine light monitors all aspects of the vehicle: emissions controls, transmission shifting, engine and fuel management, and even more in the cases of luxury or hybrid vehicles.


  1. The check engine light does NOT mean you “just need an oil change or tune-up.” It’s not a service reminder and rarely has anything to do with maintenance.


  1. The “little computer” that a mechanic uses to communicate with a car does NOT tell you what is wrong with the vehicle. It’s the equivalent of the car telling us “where it hurts,” but it becomes our job to determine why the car is metaphorically injured.



A Proper Diagnostic


To do proper diagnosis on a check engine light requires more than simply pulling a fault code and replacing some parts. Inexperienced or incapable mechanics resort to this “shotgun” method, but most consumers do not realize that’s the approach their mechanic is taking. If your dentist wanted to yank all your lower teeth because of a toothache somewhere down there, you would be looking for a new dentist who knew how to properly evaluate the cause of pain! We are often tasked with finding a problem that a customer says “nobody else can fix.” We find the other shops have sold all sorts of replacement parts, but the problem persists. We find that these same sorts of shops don’t charge customers for check engine light diagnostic, and the lure of “free diagnosis” has ultimately resulted in expensive irrelevant repairs. Not to mention, the car isn’t fixed. A true diagnostic takes time, not 5 minutes either. In 5 Minutes anyone can read a code from a vehicles computer, but that does not troubleshoot the cause or the failure.


We charge a diagnostic fee because nobody works for free and stays in business. A “free diagnosis” is either worth what you pay for it (nothing), or they are going to charge you more for the repairs later. We do not lead customers that way at Good Guys Automotive, even if another garage suggests otherwise. We also do not rely on other garages diagnostic efforts to rectify why the engine light stays on. We offer a guarantee on our diagnostic recommendations, this is why we take the time and use the proper equipment to evaluate each system on your vehicle to pin point fault(s). Keep in mind that computers affect other computers on your vehicle which means repairs may have to be done in stages, which is also impossible to be done in 5 minutes.