What does it mean when my SERVICE ENGINE SOON light comes on?
The SERVICE ENGINE LIGHT along with other notification lights on your dashboard are your early warning system that is built into your vehicle to alert you of possible problems. The vehicle's computer controls most of the active components of your vehicle - Fuel, Throttle, Emissions etc. All of these systems are preprogrammed to run in a harmonious manner for your vehicle to operate at maximum efficency. Even if your vehicle is running smoothly - DO NOT IGNORE ANY WARNING LIGHTS IN YOUR VEHICLE.
What happens if I disregard the WARNING LIGHTS?
This is not a cost effective decision to make. For example, A FAILED OXYGEN SENSOR, if left unchecked, will wind up sending the wrong information to the vehicles computer. The computer will then take this information and falsely tell the fuel system that the ENGINE is not receiving enough fuel. This would instruct the FUEL SYSTEM to release more fuel resulting in poor FUEL ECONOMY. If it is left unchecked for an extended period of time, it could contaminate the CATALYTIC CONVERTER - which is a very costly repair. Other sensors that have failed can cause other costly repairs if left unchecked. It takes 15-20 minutes for a technician to be able to diagnose problems with your vehicle through the vehicles computer system. Those 15 minutes could save you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!
When should I TUNE-UP my Vehicle?
Tune-ups are almost a thing of the past (almost). Most vehicles today do not require as frequent tune-up's, however, it is still has an impact on your fuel mileage and your wallet. The vehicle's manual will advise you on when (mileage) you should tune-up your vehicle.
What does a TUNE-UP involve?
There are many parts and components on your vehicle that need to be checked - Spark Plugs, Coil or Coils, Plug Wires, Ground Connections, PVC, Air Filter, Emissions Hoses and Fittings, All connections with Air Lines and Hoses, Airbox, O2 Sensors, Fuel Filters (not in the gas tank).
What if my vehicle is driving poorly but it isn't time for a TUNE-UP?
Any vehicle that is running rough or has poor driveability should have all systems checked to ensure that all the systems are operating within the manufacturer's set specifications. This is done by the vehicles computer. It will give a thorough diagnosis of any codes and will look into the live data from the onboard computer system.
Taking care and paying attention to your vehicle will help save you money on costly repairs because little issues have gone unchecked.