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Understanding Auto Diagnostics And The Check Engine Light

Every driver dreads the moment when the check engine light illuminates on the dashboard. It’s often a sign that something is amiss with your vehicle. At Tire Star, serving Kendallville, Wolcottville, and Ligonier, IN, we specialize in auto diagnostics to help you quickly and accurately identify and fix the issues triggering that pesky light.

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

The check engine light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics system. When it lights up, it’s signaling that the vehicle’s computer has detected a problem. This issue could range from a loose gas cap to more serious engine or transmission problems.

Common Reasons for the Check Engine Light

  • Loose or Faulty Gas Cap One of the simplest causes is a loose or faulty gas cap. This can affect fuel system pressure and trigger the check engine light.
  • Oxygen Sensor Failure A failing oxygen sensor can cause the engine to run inefficiently, increasing emissions and reducing fuel economy.
  • Catalytic Converter Issues Problems with the catalytic converter, which reduces harmful emissions, can also trigger the check engine light.
  • Spark Plug or Ignition Coil Problems Faulty spark plugs or ignition coils can cause misfires, leading to decreased performance and increased emissions.

Why Auto Diagnostics are Essential

Accurate Problem Identification Auto diagnostics tools can read the trouble codes stored in your car’s computer, pinpointing the exact issue. This precision ensures that repairs are effective and efficient.

Prevent Further Damage Ignoring the check engine light can lead to more severe and costly problems down the road. Early diagnostics help prevent minor issues from escalating.

Improve Vehicle Performance By addressing the underlying problems, you can restore your car’s performance and improve fuel efficiency. Regular diagnostics also help maintain your vehicle’s overall health.

The Auto Diagnostics Process

  • Code Reading Our technicians use advanced diagnostic tools to read the error codes from your vehicle’s computer. These codes provide a starting point for identifying the problem.
  • Visual Inspection A thorough visual inspection helps us identify any obvious issues, such as loose connections, worn components, or visible damage.
  • Component Testing Specific components related to the error codes are tested to determine their functionality. This could include sensors, ignition coils, fuel injectors, and more.
  • System Analysis Beyond just reading codes, we analyze various systems in your vehicle to understand the root cause of the problem. This comprehensive approach ensures we address all potential issues.

Common Auto Diagnostic Services at Tire Star

Engine Diagnostics We perform in-depth engine diagnostics to identify issues like misfires, compression problems, or fuel system issues.

  • Transmission Diagnostics Transmission issues can be complex. Our diagnostics tools help us pinpoint problems with shifting, slipping, or other transmission-related concerns.
  • Emissions Testing Failed emissions tests can often trigger the check engine light. We diagnose and fix the underlying issues to ensure your vehicle passes emissions testing.
  • Electrical System Diagnostics Electrical issues can cause a variety of problems in your vehicle. We test and diagnose the electrical systems to keep everything running smoothly.

When your check engine light comes on, don’t ignore it. Trust the experts at Tire Star in Kendallville, Wolcottville, and Ligonier, IN, to provide accurate auto diagnostics and get your vehicle back to peak performance. Schedule your diagnostic appointment today and drive with confidence.

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Mon – Fri | 8:00am – 5:00pm


Mon – Fri | 8:00am – 5:00pm


Mon – Fri | 8:00am – 5:00pm

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