Check Engine Light
Volvo > Volvo Services
The most important consideration in servicing a modern automobile is the repair shop's diagnostic capability. We use "factory" diagnostic equipment and information. These tools are specifically designed for the car manufacturer's products and offer complete capability to interrogate the immense complexity engineered into modern cars. Having these tools and related information allows us to quickly determine the source of an issue with the car. Although these systems are expensive to acquire, it is worth it to have fast and accurate diagnostics.
Your vehicle has one of these check engine lights
What does it mean?
The Check Engine Light is integrated into your car's computer system and is designed to indicate that there is a problem with your car's emission controls system. The Light could indicate a problem as simple as a loose gas cap, or it could indicate a more serious problem. Because all the electronics in a modern vehicle are interconnected, a Check Engine Light occasionally indicates a problem with a system other than the engine, often the transmission. Frustrating for both the car owner and the mechanic, the Check Engine light can illuminate when no perceptible problem exists.
What you are paying for?
Our desire for clean air has required the vehicle manufacturers to design increasingly sophisticated systems to meet tightening emissions regulations. Exactly how the manufacturers meet these government regulations is left up to each individual manufacturer and is very much an evolving science. We are continuously training our technicians and upgrading our testing equipment to help us master these evolving technologies.
An appropriate analogy is when your physician recommends x-rays or scans. You are paying for the combined cost of expensive equipment which rapidly becomes obsolete, along with the expertise of the personnel who perform the tests and evaluate the results. This is very similar to what happens when your Check Engine light comes on and you bring us your vehicle to have us "read the codes".
Why the Light Comes on and What You Should Do?
Any failure of an emissions-related component or system will cause the Light to come on. But when the Light comes on don’t panic! If the light comes on but the car is still running fine, it’s OK to continue on a local errand. At the first opportunity make sure the gas cap is properly installed. But if the Light comes on and the car is running poorly, or the exhaust smells like rotten eggs, or the Check Engine Light is flashing, you should definitely park the vehicle. Ignoring the Light can be very risky. The best plan is to have a qualified technician evaluate the Light as soon as possible.
Diagnosis using the Codes
Reading the codes is not a diagnosis; it's just the first step. Our technician will begin by reading the codes (Digital Trouble Codes) that are stored in your vehicle's computers; all the computers, not just the engine's. Since the number of potential codes numbers in the hundreds and because multiple codes are typically stored, the technician must work his way through the hierarchy of codes.
The technician's next step is to access the manufacturer's technical service bulletins (TSBs) to determine if this is a common pattern failure or a unique occurrence. Occasionally the technician will find a TSB that directly relates to this vehicle's exact problem and what steps we can take to remedy the problem. We may even find that the vehicle has been recalled because of this specific problem, in which case we will notify you of any free remedies available to you through the manufacturer.
If at this point the exact nature of the problem is still unknown, we will contact you requesting your authorization for further evaluation. Please understand that there is no script to follow. Based on the codes, the way the vehicle is functioning, and the technician’s expertise, the technician will determine which components need to be tested in order to determine the source of the problem. We will always keep you informed about the testing strategies and their associated costs.
Our Commitment to You
We are pleased you have chosen The Motor Works to resolve your Check Engine Light. We have made, and will continue to make, substantial investment in training and the latest manufacturer-specific proprietary equipment so that we can make the quickest and most accurate diagnosis possible.