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What?s That? Check Engine Light Service At Auto Surgeon Inc

Posted July 1, 2014 12:00 PM

Okay. You went to your local Lansing car wash and while your Domestic was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the Domestic! You head for the nearest Lansing service station, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your Domestic in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or that it’s just in your Domestic as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary costly repairs. You’re glad you didn’t take your car to the Lansing repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.

Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your Domestic was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the Domestic engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The Domestic doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your service advisor. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your Domestic engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your Domestic check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your Domestic engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory that a service advisor can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The service advisor uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your Domestic. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.

Your Lansing service specialist responds to a trouble code in your Domestic’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.

Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you’re a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market and some Lansing auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your Domestic engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Auto Surgeon Inc in Lansing. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer - specific codes. That’s why manager Bill Belonge at Auto Surgeon Inc spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your Lansing auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Lansing parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to the Auto Surgeon Inc in Lansing and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s do it right the first time at Auto Surgeon Inc. In the long run, it’s actually the less expensive choice.



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Testimonials

  • reviewicon
    Just a word of thanks for the top notch done to Wema's Carolla and for the thoughtful communication with our Tanzanian exchange student. Not only did you fix her car, but also handled arranging towing, all in a narrow window of time. Wema is delighted to have her car back, running better than ever. Couldn't be more happy with your service!
    , 01/05/2021

  • reviewicon
    My son limped his vehicle into Auto Surgeon's parking lot . The vehicle is on its last leg and we just needed to get it up and running for a few more weeks til my son graduates. The proper repairs were out of the budget so Bill came up with a solution that made sense for this vehicle, Bill didn't have to adapt for us but he did, and the price was more than fair. Don't hesitate to call Auto Surgeon for any repair.
    , 12/04/2020

  • I have passed this place on the bus every day for 6 years and have always gotten a smile out of their sign out front having such nice little positive messages. So when I finally got a car and needed my brakes done, they were my first choice. Not only were they incredibly friendly and professional, they identified what I thought was a minor inconvenience and explained how it could be a problem down the road (pun very much intended) while fixing it for me. I will absolutely be coming back for anything I need done in the future!
    , 10/09/2020

  • reviewicon
    Bill earns a strong recommendation for great customer service and for the excellent repair he did on my car. For all future car needs, Bill will be my first call.

  • reviewicon
    My daughter brought her GMC in for a noise in the suspension and a air bag issue- Bill and his staff did a great job in diagnosing and repairing the vehicle with keeping us updated on the process. Thank You

  • reviewicon
    My husband has taken his car to Auto Surgeon for many years and has nothing but praise for their expertise and customer service. We both trust that whatever the problem, we're in good hands with Bill and his team. Today it was my car's turn to need repairs. Within 90 minutes of dropping it off, they contacted me with a diagnosis and an estimate. By early afternoon, my car was ready. First-rate experience, start to finish. No one wants car problems, but if you have them, this is the place to go.