Take it to the Pros, not the Part’s Store
This is a topic I have written about before, and perhaps a topic that is most concerning for me with regard to the consumer’s perception about the complexity of the dashboard check engine light.
The check engine light is warning light, letting you know that you car’s computer detects a malfunction in either the engine, fuel system, pollution system or other critical components. There has been a lot of misleading advertising the past few years, mostly from auto parts stores like AutoZone and Advance Auto offering free check engine light testing, that leads some people to believe that hooking up a devise under your dashboard and reading error messages, know has “codes” is somehow a diagnosis. Well, that simply is not true.
While the people behind the counter at a parts store are proficient at what they do, they do not have the resources, training or proper test equipment to duplicate what is performed at a professionally licensed automotive repair facility.
Taking you car to a parts store like AutoZone or Advance Auto to have your Check Engine light tested is like going to a drug store when you’re hurt or sick, instead of the doctor. Hooking up a devise to your car’s computer, as done by the part’s store, is not a diagnosis. It is merely the first step in a series of steps in the diagnostic strategy. And taking the error code found by the parts store to your mechanic and telling him what part to replace may end up costing you in the long run.
The data received must be interpreted by a trained mechanic, who will then prescribe the necessary tests to determine the root cause of the problem. Jumping to conclusions by relying only on the “code” stored in the car’s computer may lead to replacing the wrong part and paying for work you may not need.
Don’t be fooled by “Free” Check Engine Light Testing. Ever wonder why it’s free? It’s because it’s the easiest part of the diagnostic process, and part stores use this advertising strategy to bring people to their stores.
It is far better to have a trained mechanic perform the needed tests. Are there diagnostic fees for this? Yes, but in the long run, you will only pay for what is needed.
Should you have questions or concerns regarding the check engine light on your dashboard please contact your mechanic or contact me at Osceola Garage and I will be more than happy to explain what the problems can be. For more information visit our website at www.osceolagarage.com.