"Check Engine" lights. No one enjoys seeing them since, more often than not, they can lead to stress and anxiety - especially when the vehicle seems to be "running just fine". They are there for a good reason though. The "check engine" light is one of the many ways your vehicle can communicate with you, in this case, it's generally trying to let you know that something is "not quite right" within the engine or emissions system(s).
When the "check engine" light comes on, the monitoring system that found something out of specification will then send a trouble code to the on-board computer to be stored for diagnostic purposes. There are over 100 different trouble codes - which are much like a zip code in your address, in that it gives a general idea of the area you live in, but won't get someone right to your front door. The stored code is similar in that it gives your technician an idea of which part of the system is experiencing an issue, but won't bring them right to the part in need of replacement or repair. The stored trouble code will need to be retrieved using a specialized "scan tool" that plugs into the vehicle's OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) port. Once the technician has the code(s) retrieved, they can then start the necessary testing procedures and work up reports on their findings. Once complete, a course of action can be planned and estimates for repair can be prepared. Here at Motor Works in Rockville, we're able to perform engine repairs both big and small, although it is of course ideal not to have the issue get to the point of "big".
Since engines are highly complex (and expensive to replace), it is important to not only maintain them properly but to also have any issues that may come up attended to in a timely manner. Don't hesitate to give us a call, or shoot over an appointment request, today so that we can get the process started.