Check Engine Light On?

Have a check engine light and not quite sure what it means?  This is a common question our Treasure Valley customers ask us here at Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Boise. Generally it means something's not working like it should.  What can you do about the check engine light?  The best answer is to get it looked at as soon as possible.  The longer the light stays on the worse potential your vehicle has for a serious problem.

Service Department Hours
  •         M - F: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
  •         Saturday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  •         Sunday: Closed

The "check engine" light is part of your car's so-called onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. Since the 1980s, computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance, regulating such variables as engine speed (RPM), fuel mixture, and ignition timing. In some cars, the computer also tells the automatic transmission when to shift.

When it finds a problem in the electronic-control system that it can't correct, the computer turns on a yellow warning indicator that's labeled "check engine," "service engine soon" or "check powertrain." Or the light may be nothing more than a picture of an engine, known as the International Check Engine Symbol, perhaps with the word "Check." In addition to turning on the light, the computer stores a "trouble code" in its memory that identifies the source of the problem, such as a malfunctioning sensor or a misfiring engine. The code can be read with an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer, standard equipment in auto repair shops.

How does Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM Boise diagnose my problem?
At Larry H. Miller, we have the tools, training and technology to handle diagnostic issues, such as a Check Engine Light. Properly performing a complete diagnostic procedure normally includes the following steps:

- A diagnostic tool is connected to the vehicles' on-board computer to review error codes.  This gives us a general idea of the system that may be failing/malfunctioning.

2. VERIFICATION TESTING - This is a test to determine if the physical test matches the digital test.  Some systems may have a leaky seal on a hose, or may be completely broken.

3. PINPOINT TESTING - Besides a general systems test, pointed tests are usually required.  This entails inspecting specific components for failure.  

- Technical Service Bulletins and hotline information will indicate if the problem has been determined to be a pattern failure, meaning that it is a known issue that occurs with a particular type of vehicle. This does not eliminate the need for testing, as other systems must meet specifications before a service bulletin procedure should be performed.

- Of course we would never perform or mandate a repair without your permission and authorization.  

6. CAR REPAIR - We will perform necessary fixes including replacing parts, cleaning components, or performing updates.

7. VERIFY REPAIR - Once all necessary actions have been taken, the vehicle must be retested to verify that the repair is complete and has achieved the proper results.

How long will it take to diagnose my problem?
In most cases, we can actually find AND fix the problem in the same day.

Do I need an appointment?

Usually quick look-ups do not require an appointment, but to ensure the quickest diagnosis possible it is best to schedule your service appointment in advance.

How much will it cost?

Most basic diagnostics (hooking up to computer and spot-checking) is done at no charge.  However, if additional and more thorough diagnosis is required, we will perform diagnostics at our fixed hourly rate.

Have a Question About Your Check Engine Light or Diagnostics?

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