Engine Check & Analysis

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The modern vehicle's engine is a highly sophisticated computer. The days of your father's gas-guzzler are long gone. Instead, Federal Exhaust Emission Standards and fuel economy regulations demand that today's vehicles be equipped with electronic engine control systems to curb carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. With technically advanced computing systems taking the place of simple engine components, common maintenance services such as tune-ups have changed drastically.

Regularly scheduled services (such as spark plug and filter replacements) are still required, as well as a computerized analysis of your vehicle's control computer. At McWhorter Tire & Auto locations, ASE certified technicians and master mechanics are here to provide these services and diagnose that check engine light!

Fixing the Check Engine Light

There are many auto parts stores in town (Advance, AutoZone, etc.) that will diagnose a check engine light for free. By "diagnose", we mean they tell you a code, sometimes even multiple codes that caused the check engine light to appear. This is only partially helpful.

  • Can you fix the problem on your own by knowing the code? No, a code doesn't pinpoint the problem or tell you which auto part to purchase or if multiple systems need repaired.
  • An auto parts store also can't provide a solution, they will even admit due to liability, they aren't a mechanic!
  • Most auto parts stores offer to turn off the check engine light. Realize that it is often re-triggered soon after and doesn't fix the source of the issue!

At McWhorter, we use an advanced scanner to check each computer sensor’s effectiveness and accurately diagnose the root problem of a check engine light. Only an ASE master mechanic can diagnose if your vehicle’s performance is threatened by a mechanical issue, or if the check engine light has come on due to a faulty sensor/electric issue. Learn more about our electrical system diagnosis and repair service.

How Your Engine Control Computer Operates

Inside the modern car, a network of sensors and switches monitor and convert engine operating conditions into electrical signals. This network sends information to a computer, which decodes it and sends commands to your ignition, fuel, or emission control system. Whenever a problem arises, you may feel a difference in your car, and/or notice the check engine light is illuminated.

Here's a Brief Overview of Your Vehicle's Sensory Components:

  • Mass airflow sensor
  • Throttle position sensor
  • Manifold absolute pressure sensor
  • Coolant temperature sensor
  • Exhaust oxygen sensor
  • Crankshaft position sensor
  • Camshaft position sensor
  • Tire pressure monitoring (TPS) sensor

There are now many sensors in our vehicles, some are more sensitive than others. The oxygen sensor in the engine is often a common culprit when the check engine light comes on.

A failing or faulty sensor can decrease your gas mileage and adversely affect emissions. Don't postpone fixing that check engine light, as it can lower the lifespan of your vehicle and cause further damage leading to comprehensive repairs!

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