A warning light comes on
 because the computer has
 sensed one of the systems
 or components has gone
 outside of its normal
 operating range.

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Some automotive diagnoses are quick and easy.
Some problems take longer to solve than others.

Computer Diagnostics
Vehicle computers operate everything from air conditioning, radios,
air bags, alarm systems, anti-lock braking systems, traction control,
ride control, cruise control, analog and digital gauges, automatic
transmissions, emission and engine controls.
Some think that when the check engine light comes on, the engine
computer tells the technician exactly what the problem is. The reality
is much different. The trouble code just tells us what engine parameter
is out of range, not whatís causing it.
Thereís a very common misconception that the trouble codes stored in your engine computer when your check engine light comes on will specifically identify a problem. Itís really more like pointing to the symptoms of a problem. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem thatís causing the symptom.

As you can imagine, some automotive diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved and difficult. Of course we want to figure out whatís wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible

When your check engine light comes on, you may be torn between utter panic and just wanting to ignore it and hope it goes away. Thatís perfectly understandable. That same check engine light could come on for anything from a serious engine or transmission problem all the way down to a loose gas cap.

For any given trouble code, there could be a number of causes. So the technician takes the trouble code as a starting point and begins a diagnostic process to determine the cause of the problem. And some problems take longer to solve than others.

When your engine management system logs a problem and illuminates the check engine light, your service technician will plug in a scanner, download the trouble codes and go to work tracing the cause of the problem.

Thatís just the first step. Thatís when your technicianís training, equipment, databases and skill get put to work diagnosing the problem and fixing it.