On-Board Diagnostics

on-board diagnosticsIf you own a car made after 1996, it comes with something called an On-Board Diagnostics System. This crucial system can catch a variety of problems including issues with emissions, engine trouble, and even something as trivial as a loose gas cap. The system alerts drivers to conditions that may waste fuel, shorten the life of your engine, and could even warn you about problems that may result in expensive repairs if they go ignored. Our highly skilled staff can perform a test if your OBD is alerting you to trouble.

If you see the check engine light come on, you should schedule service as soon as possible. If the light is flashing, it could be an indication that there’s something much more serious going on, such as a problem with your catalytic converter. We have the technology and software to quickly read the results of your car’s On-Board Diagnostics System so we can effectively make a recommendation for repair. Always take your vehicle in for service if either the “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on, and especially if it stays on or starts flashing.

How Does it Work?

When your OBD system notices a potential problem, it stores a trouble code in the onboard computer system. This trouble code may trigger the check engine or service engine light to illuminate on your dashboard. The purpose of these lights is to notify you that there’s something wrong and that you should bring your vehicle to a repair facility as soon as you can. The light will not turn off again until the problem has been corrected. Our repair technicians will retrieve the trouble code from the system using a special scanning tool. This information will help us quickly and accurately fix the problem so you can return to driving safely on the road.

OBD Facts

Here are a few important facts about your OBD system to keep in mind:

  • In some cases, your check engine light may turn on due to something simple like a loose gas cap. Check the cap and re-tighten it to see if the light turns off.
  • Your vehicle may go onto a “backup mode” when the light turns on. This mode usually allows you to drive the vehicle until the needed repairs are made.
  • You should NOT continue to drive for long periods of time or distances if an indicator light turns on. Take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.
  • Ask your dealership if your vehicle has been subject to a recent recall. This could be in relation to the system in some cases.
  • An error within the OBD could be related to your emissions system, so have an emissions test done as soon as you can. Some states require a passed emissions test in order to renew your registration.

For all of your vehicle’s service, maintenance, and repair needs to contact The Shop Tire and Service Center in Elk River, MN at 763-441-5050 or schedule an appointment online today.

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