The Dreaded Check Engine Light Repair

April 6th, 2018 by

Even after 37 years of experience professionally fixing cars, I still cringe when I hear the dreaded words, “My check engine light is on.” As you hope for a simple and successful outcome, I’m over here fearing the worst.

If your check engine light is on or flashing, your vehicle may require time consuming diagnostic steps that may or may not produce the answers we are looking for. It is not uncommon for the light to come back on after your mechanic fixes the problem. This can happen even if you have a really good mechanic that pairs the official repair manual steps with personal experience. Hence why I said I still cringe when people tell me their check engine light is on.

Many customers don’t know this to be true. If auto mechanics isn’t their area of expertise, how could they? As a result, they become confused and rightfully frustrated. The mechanic naturally becomes the brunt of the frustration, and customers lash out with comments like – “Why aren’t you doing your job?”

There are bad mechanics out there, but whenever this occurs to a reputable mechanic, believe me when I say, we are just as frustrated as the customer. Our number one goal is to resolve customer issues and get you back on the road, with a smile to boot.

In order for that to happen, the customer must invest their money properly and replace only the parts that are the source of the problem. I try to keep it as simple and affordable as possible. It’s important to fix everything that is wrong with your car, even if it’s not the source of the current problem, but the primary concern should be addressed first. Your car, just like any other piece of machinery or technology, can have a mind of its own.

So what are some reasons your check engine light is on?

  • If your check engine light comes on but your car is running properly it is probably an emissions related problem. No need to panic, but you should bring your car in as soon as you get a chance.
  • If the check engine light is on and the car is not driving properly it may be a more serious problem that needs immediate attention. Do not ignore the signs, stop driving the car. It might be an inconvenience at the moment but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Serving as your Head Service Foreman at Kendall Toyota I oversee the day-to-day operations we provide. Normally I am not the first face customers interact with when they enter our service drive. Check engine light repairs can take a few visits to resolve. For this reason, I often help with check engine light cases. The thought of a problem with your car’s engine might make you feel uneasy, but more times than not it is a simple emissions problem. Emission problems can be caused by things as simple as:

  • Loose fuel cap
  • Missing fuel cap
  • Leaks in the evaporative canister, fuel tank, emission system hose, fuel tank hoses, purge valve, or vent valve.

Remember in my last blog I told you to learn your car’s language? I will say it again, learn your car’s language! If your car is experiencing mechanical failure there is a good chance you will know before the check engine light comes on.

Fixing cars is my one true passion and hobby that has turned into my life long career. If I am not here at the shop I am at home with my family working on my own cars. When you meet me you may think that I am a rather dull and serious person. The truth is I take my job very seriously and want to be attentive to what my customers are saying about their car. I encourage all of you to ask questions and communicate everything you notice about your car with us. Building a trusting relationship with your mechanic will help preserve the longevity of your vehicle, preventing a lot of mechanical problems in the future.


Posted in Mech Master