What's included in an auto diagnostic service? (part 1)

Helpful tips from Don's Pro Tech Automotive

 
Series: Diagnostic Service | Story 1

September 2, 2023

Just like you go to your family doctor once a year for a routine checkup, taking your vehicle to a reliable mechanic for regularly scheduled maintenance is critical. But, just like medical issues, sometimes problems can arise when you least expect them.

When an unfamiliar light illuminates on the dash, you notice an inexplicable rumbling, roaring or grinding, or something just doesn't feel quite right, there's no need to panic and frantically search "What does my check engine light mean?" Just take your vehicle to Don's ProTechnology Auto Repair (DPT) for diagnostic service. DPT's ASE-certified technicians are trained to perform thorough car diagnostic tests to get a good understanding of what is – and isn't – working under your vehicle's hood.

What is a Check Engine Light Diagnostic?

Modern vehicles are designed with complex mechanical components and electronic systems that work together to power your vehicle. These systems are constantly monitored by your ECM (engine control module) computer, which is also programmed to report engine performance issues. When the Check Engine Light (CEL for short) is illuminated, you can experience anything from decreased acceleration to a rough idle or a totally non-starting engine. If the CEL light is flashing, it usually indicates an engine misfire, however, if the light is flashing we recommend not driving the vehicle. Damage can occur to the engine and the catalytic converter. A flashing engine light warns you to stop the vehicle and get it checked as soon as possible.

An illuminated CEL can also mean that your ECM has detected a problem and an error code was generated and stored in the computer. You may also see an "SES" (Service Engine Soon) or MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light). Each code generated corresponds to a particular procedure. Once the issue is diagnosed, the technician will alert you of the problem, secure your authorization for repairs and perform the needed and authorized repairs, ensuring you get back on the road safely and quickly.

Why is my Engine Oil Light on?

If you drive an internal combustion engine, you probably realize how important it is to have regularly scheduled oil changes. When you first open a bottle of motor oil, the oil is transparent with a bright golden color. Once inside your engine, it acts as a lubricant, cleaner and cooling agent, which keeps things running smoothly which is why it is important to have clean oil in your vehicle. After cycling through your vehicle's engine for 5,000–7,500 miles, the oil becomes dirty and needs to be drained for recycling. It is replaced with new oil, and the engine oil filter is also replaced.

Your engine oil light will illuminate if your engine oil is low. If the light comes on, it doesn't necessarily mean you have a critical oil leak. A considerable amount of oil burns off while it circulates through your engine, so if you wait too long between oil changes or drive an older vehicle, you are probably due for an oil change. If your oil level is fine and there's no leak, you may have a failing oil pressure sensor or your oil pump is potentially malfunctioning. It is important at that juncture to have the problem diagnosed.

See part two of this article in a future issue of The Loop newspaper.

For more information on diagnostic procedures, feel free to chat with one of Don's Pro Technology's knowledgeable service advisors or technicians with any concerns you may have. Don's Pro Technology Auto Repair is located at 230 E. Tehachapi Blvd., in Tehachapi and can be reached at (661) 822-1600.

 
 

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