What Dashboard Signals May Mean
Whether you drive a car, SUV, or truck, statistics show that the most likely issue your vehicle is going to develop is some sort of check engine warning or light on the dashboard. Most of the time, these signals occur due to your vehicle’s ECU, a component also known as the engine control unit. When the ECU detects an error code after one of the vehicle’s many sensors is triggered, a corresponding check engine light appears. However, complicating the issue is the fact that there are over 200 of these error codes that can appear at any given time. As a result, as a part of your auto repair in Longmont, it’s essential that when you see a light, you don’t just go off a hunch. Instead, you want a warning light inspection done so you can figure out what the true cause is and get the repairs you need. However, with such frequency, what exactly is the most common root cause of a check engine light? Here’s what you need to know.
Traditional Auto Repair Problems
A vehicle doesn’t work if the engine isn’t going right, so if there’s a problem there, it will lead to greater issues elsewhere. As a starter example, let’s talk about an issue with your engine sputtering. Most of the time, efficient engine running happens when both the air and the fuel meet and burn in the engine’s combustion chamber. For this to take place, though, a bunch of different parts of the fuel and ignition systems all need to work properly. One single problem with the system could lead to a sputtering engine and your vehicle not being able to do its job properly. This makes it essential that you avoid the issue by getting properly scheduled service or alignment in Longmont. In addition, sometimes, you may need to replace these parts. This is why it’s essential that you follow manufacturer guidelines to replace things as needed.
However, there are other engine issues you want to be aware of, for example, fuel economy. When an engine is working well, it’s generally burning fuel at a proper rate for your fuel economy. In short, every dollar you spend on this gas will end up having more value. However, the thing about this is that like the rest of your engine, having a good fuel economy is contingent on several different parts working properly. This includes things like fuel filters and oxygen sensors, but the truth is that even missing your oil change in Longmont, CO, can play a role. As a side note, the condition of these parts isn’t affected by how good a driver you are or the quality of your vehicle. Eventually, these parts will get dirty and worn. When this happens, your engine will need to burn more fuel to drive the same distances as in the past.
On the topic of things that can slow your vehicle down, we should mention the battery. On average, a battery lasts around 3 years or 50,000 miles, whichever mark it reaches first. The reason for this is that around this time, a battery will no longer be able to hold a charge and gets a lack of electric currents. However, some issues can speed up exactly when a battery dies. Generally, this is a damaged component like an alternator. However, everything can be going right and your battery will still eventually die, so it’s best to keep to that 3 year/50,000 mile interval when it comes to getting a replacement. This even applies if your battery seems to be working well.
Another component you want to be on top of in terms of wear and tear is the brakes. Part of the issue with the brakes is that when exactly they wear out is more dependent on how you drive versus your type of vehicle or a certain interval. For example, a driver in the country and driver in the city can have the same make and model of vehicle, but the city driver stops more and wears out their brakes faster. How exactly you know this is happening can vary. Some modern automobiles have a dashboard brake wear warning. In other cases, you need to listen for a squealing sound when applying the brakes.
Off The Beaten Path
Up until this point, most of the issues we’ve discussed are relatively easy to get to the bottom of. If you hear or feel something odd with your brakes, you likely have a brake issue. If your engine has an issue, you’ll have that handy dashboard warning. It’s similar to checking your oil to figure out if you need an oil change in Longmont or not. However, in other cases, you may get a check engine light but have a lot less of a clue what exactly is taking place. Here’s how to tackle those issues.
As a start, let’s talk about alternator problems. Generally, the alternator should be working to keep your electrical systems running after the car starts. Along with this, it provides a charge to the battery to make sure things stay in proper condition. However, if the alternator breaks, the opposite happens and your battery gets more wear and tear. This makes it essential that you keep to the service schedule.
Another possible problem that could lead to your check engine light appearing is an issue with the starter motor. This component’s job is to make sure your engine properly cranks over, beginning the process of starting. Generally, this fails due to something called the electrical solenoid getting damaged. However, there could be other potential issues in place. It’s taught to detect when your starter motor will break down or is showing its age. As a result, the best thing you can do is regularly get inspection and get car service in Longmont done, so you can have it checked.
Overheating, funny as it may sound, isn’t likely to be the cause of your dashboard warning, even on the hottest summer day. This is largely because modern models especially have extremely complex and powerful cooling systems in place. As long as you follow manufacturer guidelines and get things like radiator flushes and water pump changes, you should be fine.