You're driving home from work one day when the car owner's worst nightmare happens; the check engine light pops on. It comes without warning and with no explanation. For most drivers, this means a trip to the mechanic.

The check engine light is one of the most frustrating and confusing facets of owning a vehicle. It's just a light with no information telling you what the problem is. Don't worry, help is at hand and sometimes the problem is an easy fix.

At Belconnen Transmission & Driveline Services we pride ourselves in possessing the latest, up to date electronic scanning tools and equipment which allow us to correctly diagnose electronic faults in vehicle systems easily and cost effectively. Combined with our Chassis-o-meter we are able to simulate road testing of vehicles in-shop which assists us in the detection/rectification of various problems that could be causing electronic faults. The unit can be set up for both two wheel drive, four wheel drive, all wheel drive and light vehicles.

If you have a fault light appear on the dash, bring the car in to us so we can run a diagnostic test to find the cause of the fault light or fault code. They way it works is we plug a small computer into a socket, usually underneath your dashboard, and read back a code stating what has happened to the car. Quite often it is nothing to worry about and for a small fee we can reset the system and turn off the light.

If however the problem requires further attention we can help. Every year, cars get more and more complicated and these days might have as many as 50 microprocessors on them. Although these microprocessors make it more difficult for you to work on your own car, some of them actually make your car easier to service. With increasingly stricter emissions laws, sophisticated computers were needed to regulate the air/fuel mixture so that the catalytic converter could remove a lot of the pollution from the exhaust. The engine control unit (ECU) is the most powerful computer on most cars. The ECU knows the coolant temperature and engine speed. The transmission controller knows the vehicle speed. The controller for the anti-lock braking system (ABS) knows if there is a problem with the ABS. So one benefit of having on-board computers is that they store the faults and can communicate them to an off-board diagnostic tool. This makes it easier for us technicians to diagnose problems with the car, which are notorious for disappearing as soon as you bring the car in for repairs.

Examples of warning lights

Check engine light - there may be a problem with the emissions system. The light can be tripped by something as simple as a loose gas cap, or could mean there's a problem with the spark plug wires, a deteriorated fuel injector O-ring, faulty oxygen sensors or possibly that an area of the engine has water in it where moisture should not be.

Brake light - the parking brake may be set, misadjusted, or something more serious may be occurring. If the ABS and the brake warning light are on at the same time, the vehicle may not be safe to drive and should be brought in.

Oil warning light - will come on if the sensor determines there's low oil pressure, or if the oil level in the pan gets too low. If there's enough oil in the engine, low oil pressure can come from a worn or broken oil pump, clogged oil in the crankcase's pick-up screen or a plugged oil filter.

Temperature warning light - activates when the engine is overheating. An overheated engine is always a serious issue and may require car maintenance right away.

Battery light - could mean a faulty battery or possibly the alternator is not producing enough electricity to supply the car with electricity or to charge the battery. The battery light can also be triggered if the belt that spins the alternator is slipping, broken, or has come off of the pulley completely.

No matter what the problem we are able to diagnose electronic faults in vehicle systems easily and cost effectively.

Use our contact form and we will call you back to book your appointment or call us today on 02 6253 1188 to discuss your engine warning light issues. Alternatively just call in to our workshop at Unit 7, Carco Centre, Nettlefold St, Belconnen.


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