Monitors And Drive Cycles

Recent repairs to your vehicle’s “Check Engine Light” have included a reset of the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. This process has also reset the OBD readiness monitoring system. The readiness monitors now need to re-test the computer system before verifying that all systems are functioning as designed and working properly.

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Car speedometer dashboard. Speed meter panel with odometer, miles counter and urgency dial isolated vector concept

Drive the car normally. All OBD systems self-test the computer while you are driving, and you will never know it. Depending on the manufacturer of the vehicle, there are 5 to 10 readiness monitors that need to be tested.

To allow your vehicle’s readiness monitors to perform their tests and reset the OBD system to a “ready” state, and to determine that all systems are working properly, your vehicle will have to be driven through a drive cycle.

(Who knew my car had to pass a test to work properly?)

Your vehicle’s specific drive cycle can depend on the vehicle’s make and model. A normal drive cycle is 5 miles of city, stop and go driving and 5 miles of steady 60 MPH of freeway driving in the same key cycle.

Keep in mind that repairing a check engine light for one system or code may unlock another hidden pending code of another system while the drive cycle tests are being performed.

If the Check Engine Light illuminates on the dash again, don’t be alarmed. It means the system failed the test. This may happen because when the original check engine light was on, all OBD monitoring stops. Just stop in and we will re-check the system.

NOTE: A flashing check engine light should be corrected immediately.

Thank you for your trust in us and please ask if you are not clear on the computer readiness monitoring system. We will be glad to help you.

Certified Auto Specialists: the friendlier and more helpful auto shop! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help, or visit our website at CertifiedAutoCa.com

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Monitors And Drive Cycles

Recent repairs to your vehicle’s “Check Engine Light” have included a reset of the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. The on-board computer of your vehicle must now perform various self-tests referred to as “monitors” that may take up to a week of driving to complete. (1996 to 2002 cars require more time to complete the checking of monitors by the cars computer system).

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Glowing Check Engine Light

Drive the car normally. All OBD systems self-test the computer while you’re driving and you will never know it. Depending on the age and make of your vehicle it needs to be driven in various situations such as freeway travel, 10-30 minutes of continuous driving, sitting over night and having various levels of gasoline in the tank.

The original concern that caused the check engine light to come on may have suspended or locked out some of the vehicles other self-tests that it needs to perform. Now that all of the tests are enabled and can complete the cycle, there may be a possibility of hidden issues that may cause the check engine light to come back on. Therefore, a code that did not show up previously may now set indicating a new, hidden, intermittent or remaining problem.

At Certified Automotive Specialists we do as much as we can to ensure that your vehicle is repaired properly, is safe and dependable for our customers. There are some instances that require extensive driving in order to complete tests that we cannot perform here in the shop. Therefore, if the check engine light does come on, please call or return to the shop at your convenience to have the system rechecked at no cost. In most instances, we can retrieve the code within a few minutes. Always use your best discretion if the vehicle is not operating properly. Warning: If the “Check Engine Light” is flashing, this requires immediate action.

Certified Auto Specialists: the friendlier and more helpful auto shop! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help, or visit our website at CertifiedAutoCa.com

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

The Role of the Check Engine Light

Car Talk

Your car has many computers that monitor your engine for the best performance, your transmission for proper shifting, your braking system for safe stopping, and it monitors many other devices to make sure they are working properly. If a system detects a problem, it needs to alert you, so you can bring the car in for service. This is the role of the check engine light.

The check engine light looks different from car to car.  It is usually a yellow or orange color. It will rarely be red. Most of the time it illuminates in the shape of an engine. If the check engine light comes on solid (not blinking), you can continue to drive the car until you have a chance to bring it in. This does not mean you should ignore it.

When the check engine light is on, the car defaults to a backup system that controls all the important systems. Driving around for a short time until you can set up an appointment is no problem, but continuing to drive more than 20 miles is a bad idea.

If the check engine light is blinking rhythmically, this indicates a serious problem! A computer system has had a major malfunction that will damage the catalytic converter. If you notice a blinking check engine light, you do not need to stop in the middle of the bridge and call a tow truck, but you do need to stop driving as soon as it is practical. Whether the check engine light is solid or blinking, it’s a good idea to drive gently.

The modern car is more complex than ever, and many folks believe a small hand-held code reader will tell you what’s wrong with the car. This is incorrect information. It is called a code reader for a reason; it reads the trouble code for the major systems only. A code reader will not tell you the complete story of the car’s condition.

Please don’t diagnose or replace parts based on a code reader device. The only way to correctly find all the issues with your car is to use a scanner. The scanner does what it says; it scans all the modules and systems of the car, instead of a select few that a code reader does. Most cars have 20 to 100 modules; a code reader is not set to read even half of those.

Quick story; we recently had a car come in with a catalytic converter code. It would be easy to recommend and replace the part. The cost was $1200.00. Testing and analysing the system with scan data revealed that an oxygen sensor (one of the four that are on this car) was the culprit. The cost was $400.00. We felt good doing a proper diagnosis and repair. The customer was also happy!

No one wants to pay for expensive testing, but it beats changing parts and losing that hard-earned cash we all want to spend elsewhere. Please use a shop that is well equipped and don’t rely on the old code reader any more.

Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

The Check Engine Light

Gene-Car-Talk

Your car has many computers that monitor your engine for the best performance; your transmission for proper shifting, your braking system for safe stopping and they also monitor many other devices to make sure they are working properly. If a system detects a problem, it needs to alert you, so you can bring the car in for service. This is the role of the check engine light.

The check engine light looks different from car to car, but it’s always a yellow or orange color, usually with a picture of an engine. If the check engine light comes on solid (not blinking), you can continue to drive the car until you have a chance to bring it in. This does not mean you should ignore it.

When the check engine light is on, the car defaults to a backup system that controls all the important systems. Driving around for a short time until you can set up an appointment is no problem, but continuing to drive more than 20 miles is a bad idea.  However, if the check engine light is blinking rhythmically, there is a serious problem; a computer system has had a major malfunction that will damage the catalytic converter. If you notice a blinking check engine light, you do not need to stop in the middle of the bridge and call a tow truck, but you do need to stop driving as soon as practical. Whether the check engine light is solid or blinking, it’s a good idea to drive gently.

The modern car is more complex than ever, the old plug in a code reader to get a code doesn’t give as much information as it did in older makes. I recommend a full system or health scan to check all the computer and modules in the system.

Here is an example. We had a late model Ford come in with a driving issue. We did a quick code read and found no codes, but when we did a health scan, we found several codes that related to the transmission. We were able to fix the car and all was well.

Please use a shop that is well equipped and don’t rely on the old code reader any more.

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814 or visit our website at www.CertifiedAutoCA.com.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

 

Is Your Check Engine Light On? Don’t Ignore It

One of the most vital signals of an improperly functioning vehicle is the check engine light and when illuminated, it alerts the driver to a variety of existing potential problems. Vehicle check-ups during community car care events throughout the country reveal that the check engine light is on in nearly one out of ten vehicles.

When the check engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally. A glowing check engine light doesn’t mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the warning light could result in costly repairs. At the very least, the light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.

Some common malfunctions that can cause the check engine light to illuminate include a faulty oxygen sensor, mass air flow sensor, or spark plugs and wires. If the light flashes, the condition is more critical and must be checked immediately to prevent severe damage, which may include catalytic converter damage.When scheduling service, make sure the automotive shop that examines your vehicle has professional technicians who are trained and certified in OBDII diagnosis and repair. The technician will connect your vehicle’s computer system to a diagnostic scan tool, which will provide trouble codes indicating why the check engine light was activated.

While the diagnostic tool is connected, the technician can analyze data streams such as the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators. Once the problem is fixed, the car’s computer is reset to initiate the computer’s release process. The technician should then advise the customer of the proper course of action, potential warranty coverage, further testing if necessary and recommended repairs.

Give us a call and schedule an appointment if your check engine light is on. Let us check it out!

We Are Open To Serve You.  Please Call 626.541.2149 For Service.

We Will Pick Up and Deliver Your Vehicle For Service At No Additional Charge Upon Request.*

*Within 10 miles of the shop.