The check engine light can be a stressful sight to see. Often times, your mind comes up with the worst possible scenario for what could be wrong. And while there’s no way of knowing what the problem is, most drivers share the same fear: It’s going to cost a lot of money.

At Kennedy Transmission, we believe it’s important for every driver to know how their check engine light functions, and when it’s time to bring their vehicle into one of our shops throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

When your check engine light comes on, you definitely shouldn’t ignore it. While the light does indicate something is wrong, it could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or as serious as engine trouble.

Your check engine light has two modes: It will either glow steadily or it will flash. These two modes can help you determine how serious the issue is. First, if your check engine light is staying on, you should keep an eye on it for a couple days. If it doesn’t go off, it’s time to schedule an appointment with us.

If your check engine light is flashing, that’s how you know there’s a more serious problem and you shouldn’t wait to get your vehicle serviced. Be sure to call Kennedy to schedule an appointment as soon as you can so we can diagnose the issue. In the meantime, be sure not to tow any trailers, haul heavy loads, or drive at interstate speeds. Doing that could lead to even further damage that could result in some costly repairs.

Helpful tip: As soon as your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. Often times, a loose gas cap can trigger a false sensor reading that makes your light come on.

Diagnosing the Problem

Auto computers control about 85% of your vehicle’s functions. When it comes to your check engine light, we look to the computer in the engine that monitors and controls several things to keep it running. When that computer senses that something is wrong, it first tries to fix the problem by making adjustments on its own. If that doesn’t work, the computer signals the check engine light to come on.

As it does this, the computer stores a trouble code – and that’s where we come in. One of our specially trained technicians will scan the computer to read the code. While it doesn’t tell us what’s exactly wrong, it gives us a good idea of where to start looking.

Helpful tip: Using your own code scanner to diagnose or fix the problem is not recommended. Today’s auto repair equipment is very high-tech, and knowing a code is only an indication of what the problem might be. Having a skilled and trained technician diagnose the problem is not only safer, but could prevent you from making costly mistakes.

You Can Rely on Kennedy Transmission

Good car care and routine preventative maintenance go a long way to keeping your vehicle healthy. But when your check engine light comes on or you experience any sort of issue with your vehicle, your best bet is to go to a trusted source: Kennedy Transmission. Find your nearest location in North Dakota or Minnesota to schedule a service today!

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Contact Phone: 952.476.4338 Visit the store locator page for direct location phone numbers