Sacramento Check Engine Light
"Awe man, what's that little check engine light on my dash mean? What does it want? Maybe it will go away on its own. If my engine still seems to run normally, I'll just wait to deal with it when the smog is due. I know, I'll get one of those code readers and throw parts at it." If you find yourself or someone you know saying these things, fear not. We can help you figure it all out. If you start with us, we can spare you from a lot of frustration. If you come see us last, well....we will do our best to make it as painless as possible for you. We will even take a look at any previous shop notes from the dealership or other sources for you to get you back on the right path to a successful repair.
There are many warning indicators on your dashboard today. There are several computers working very hard and all talking together in your vehicle so you can get to work, home, etc. When all seems to be operating normally, you would only see these warning lights like the check engine light come on briefly when starting your engine. This is called a bulb test. When any of the monitoring computers detects a problem in one of its many systems, it doesn't really know why or what the problem is. It just knows that something doesn't seem right. So the computer will turn on the warning light and store a code that represents a system fault. It is part of the manufacturer's design to alert the driver that the vehicle should be taken to a trained technician to have the issue investigated. The important thing to know is that the code doesn't always mean "replace part" and move on. Many vehicle owners and shops waste thousands of dollars buying and installing parts that don't fix the problem. Often times, the check engine light comes on because the fuel cap wasn't installed properly or leaking. Always check the gas cap first!
Sometimes the warning light comes on but the engine and transmission seem to run normally so it gets ignored. But that doesn't mean nothing is wrong. One of the many emission systems may be failing and even though something feels OK, you could be losing gas mileage or creating elevated emissions. Other times the light comes on and the driver can feel that something isn't right. Either way, ignoring the warning light can lead to damage and more expensive repairs if not addressed soon enough. For example: a simple vacuum leak from a $5 hose or a $6 spark plug could damage the $1000 catalytic converter if left not corrected.
There is no way around it. It takes a trained technician with advanced equipment to diagnose and repair these systems properly. A good thorough diagnostic test will usually save you money in the long run. You should be leery of shops who don't charge for diagnosis or claim to wave the charges with repairs. They usually don't have the proper equipment or technical resources to perform the testing properly which will ultimately waste your money. The training, technician's time, and advanced testing equipment is expensive for the shop to maintain so they will try to recover these cost one way or another. Often times "free diagnosis with repairs" usually means that they roll the diagnostic fees into the repair estimate.
At Made in Japan Made in America, we know you work hard for your money and usually the check engine light means there may be an unplanned repair for you. Our trained technicians have access to some of the most advanced diagnostic equipment and technical resources available. We even have resources not available to the dealerships. We will provide you with detailed testing and inspection reports that will support the recommended repair. This way you'll be confident that your money wasn't wasted and the repair got fixed right the first time. They will use only the highest quality parts and will cover those parts with our national 2-year, 24,000-mile warranty!