What To Do When Your “Check Engine” Light Keeps Turning On

Take the driver seat on any late model car on the road today, and you will see that the dashboard is filled with different warning lights. and if that ain’t enough, there are buzzers that alert the driver of anything that needs prompt attention, or worse, signal when engine damage may be inevitable unless the car is pulled over. Car engineers have an eye for detail though on how any driver potentially reacts when one of those warning lights turn on, so there’s no cause for panic if a “check engine” light menacingly turns on or a buzzer alerts you of something wrong.

At Murrieta Auto Repair, we have seen these common problems from our customers whose cars we have promptly serviced. Yes, there are “false alarms” (read: faulty electronics) with these warning lights but quite a few warrant a complete engine check to see if that car needs to be serviced as soon as possible or ignoring these light might compromise passengers’ and vehicle safety.

In the not-so-distant past, it was very tricky to diagnose check engine light or warning light problem. It needed the observation of the driver when does the problem happen and how often, if warning lights turn on certain periods during the engine is started. Today, the ‘guesswork’ has been removed with the advent of diagnostic and troubleshooting equipment and software.

At Murrieta Auto Repair, we have the tools, hardware and software to accurately diagnose any problem so that we could get at the root of the problem that makes the check engine light (or any warning light) turn on.

The check engine light or the service-engine-soon lights are like traffic signals. The red ones that light up means that you have to pull over to a safe area of the road, stop the engine immediately and do a check under the hood.

Common problems that often cause red warning lights to go off are:

  • Engine overheating
  • Low engine oil pressure or oil pump problems
  • Transmission overheating or fluid loss
  • Low battery voltage or battery failure
  • Brake system failure – On vehicles with ABS (anti-lock braking systems) this is a major failure so it’s wise to stop, pull over the road and have your car towed.

Other engine problems that cause a red warning light or check engine light to go off are:

  • Faulty alternator that is not charging the battery properly
  • Low or empty brake fluid
  • Missing engine belts
  • Low levels of anti-freeze (or radiator coolant), engine oil and transmission fluid

Murrieta Auto Repair has the diagnostic equipment and ASE-certified Master Technician auto mechanics that can solve any check engine light problem, without significant ‘downtime’ and without compromising vehicle safety. We do value your observations on what may have caused your vehicles problems and we will communicate with you in plain language (NO strange shop talk here) and give you an honest quote at reasonable rates (NO “bill padding” here).

Murrieta Auto Repair: We are your No. 1 Dealership Alternative in Murrieta, California

Expensive Auto Repair: Top 5 Auto Repair Scams

It’s no exaggeration that having a car (or any other vehicle) is an investment. Vehicle owners need to have it on top of their minds that a positive driving experience can only happen if the vehicle that’s in your garage (or used for your business) is well-maintained. But, “well-maintained” here does not equal to high prices on replacement parts and services or taking out a personal loan just to finance that emergency repair.

Preventive (or periodic) maintenance is the key so your car, truck, daily driver; or valued import or classic, runs and drives like it just rolled off the car dealership yesterday.

We, at Murrieta Auto Repair, are on a mission to provide everyone in Murrieta and nearby areas of Riverside County, the best services and quick repairs that we are becoming known for. And not only that, inform you, our valued customers, on ways to save on vehicle repairs and not get scammed.

The Top 5 Scams that other auto repair shops pull on their clients are:

1. Unnecessary repair jobs – Very common, and a tip off that you are being “robbed” is that a non-vital problem, a weird noise when changing gear or a malfunction light that intermittently turns on, is prescribed with an expensive transmission repair or engine rebuild. Most of the time, problems in your car or truck can be easily (and affordably) solved by preventive maintenance such as regular oil changes and running a systems check (through diagnostic tools) to spot minor problems before they get too expensive to repair.

2. Misdiagnosis – This is a sneaky one, if you are not careful or you present the typical “never-care-what’s-under-the-hood” attitude, unscrupulous shop crews will pull a thousand-dollar repair estimate (or billing) that would typically can be done with just a couple hundred bucks. At Murrieta Auto Repair, we will diagnose what’s ailing your vehicle and if you are not satisfied with our diagnosis and repair, you can get your second (or third even fourth) opinion anywhere. And we’ll do repairs again on your vehicle, free of charge, if we didn’t get it right the first time around (terms and conditions apply).

3. Parts Switching – Unscrupuluous auto shops bill you for new parts, say brake pads or tie-rod ends, when what they actually replaced were used parts from similar vehicles that might share the same parts as yours. You are not just being scammed but you, your family and friends’ safety on the road is compromised. These used parts often have signs of metal fatigue (cracks, dents) and can break anytime. You can demand from your favorite auto repair shop to be shown the damaged parts that need replacement and be shown where these were put on your vehicle. If you are told “it’s too complicated for you to understand” or anything that insults you asking questions about repair, take your business elsewhere.

4. Repairs taking too long – It’s unreasonable to demand that your car be up and running in two days if you when you went through major collision. But if a major transmission system or brake system repair is estimated to take weeks to a month and there’s no “waiting line” of customers in the garage, buyer beware. The lead time that is estimated is commonly the same time where other scams like part switching and unnecessary repairs happen. Again, buyer beware.

5. Pull the “emotion card” – Whenever the repair management or their mechanic says “I would not drive around in that car” or “You should have that repaired immediately or else…” or similar phrases, they are definitely pulling your emotional strings. And if they manage to reel you in with that, you can expect unnecessary, costly repairs and services.

We, at Murrieta Auto Repair, adhere to the highest standards of courteous, honest and quick service on all makes and brands of cars.

We will never scam, rob you blind or pull any other trick on you. That’s company policy.

We aim to exceed your expectations and give you utmost satisfaction on all the services that we have to offer. You might have tried the rest; Now, it’s the time to try us, who are on a mission, to be the best in Murrieta and Riverside County.