You are on your way to work one morning when you look down at your dashboard and see that the buick Check Engine Light (CEL) is on. It can be scary to see a warning light on your dashboard, but what does this mean? Should you pull over and call the repair shop? Should you just not care?
The answer is somewhere between the two. We asked our factory-trained mechanics what our customers should do when their “Check Engine” light comes on, and the answer may make you feel better. It’s important to know what this common light means if you want to know what to do.
Buick Check Engine Light
A flashing light means that the problem is serious and that if it isn’t fixed quickly, it could cause a lot of damage to the car.
If the check engine light on your Buick starts flashing, it means that something is wrong and needs to be fixed right away. You should bring your Buick in as soon as possible.
This blinking light usually means that the engine is misfiring badly, which lets unburned fuel go into the exhaust system. There, it can quickly raise the temperature of the catalytic converter to a point where it is likely to get damaged and need an expensive fix.
Some owners ask if the check engine light flashes because of the spark plugs. This can be the clear reason. Misfiring can be caused by a bad, old, or dirty spark plug.
If you ignore the problem or keep driving, it could spread to the spark plug wires, the catalytic converter, or the ignition coils, which would be very expensive to fix.
Also Read: Why is My gmc Check Engine Light On?
How Much Can You Drive With The Check Engine Light On
The safest thing to do is figure out what the code means and then plan your strategy based on that. Since each check engine code has its own level of severity, it is hard to say how many miles you can drive with the warning light on. It could be a bad sensor or that the plug wires need to be changed. If your check engine light is blinking, you should pull over and call Coggin Buick/GMC of Orange Park. They can help you figure out if your car is safe to drive or if you should call a tow truck.
Check Engine Light Flashing
Even though there are a lot of things that could cause the Check Engine Light to come on, we know from years of providing Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that there are many common reasons, like a gas cap that isn’t tight enough. A Check Engine Light can also be caused by a broken head gasket, a broken oxygen sensor, a dirty mass airflow sensor, a broken emissions control part, a problem with the fuel injection system, or broken spark plugs, among other things.
No matter what is causing the Check Engine Light, we have the certified service protocol and the Buick Certified Mechanics to find the source of the problem and fix it as needed to bring the car back to factory specifications. When this happens, the Check Engine Light turns off, and you know that the problem with your Buick has been fixed and you can leave the service centre.
Every Buick was made with a high-tech performance monitoring system that includes a computer and a set of sensors placed in key places around the car to check on its most important systems.
The sensors are always looking at the environment and sending information to the electronic control unit. If the electronic control unit sees that the data is not within factory limits, the Check Engine Light will come on to let you know there is a problem.
Still, that’s the problem with the Check Engine Light: it won’t tell you what’s wrong or what to do about it. That’s where we come in. Coggin Buick/GMC of Orange Park offers a Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that finds the root of the problem and gives you advice on what to do next from an Exceptionally Qualified Service professional.
Buick Check Engine Light Service
What do you do when you’re driving your Buick and all of a sudden a yellow light that says “Check Engine” comes on? If you’re like most Buick owners, when that light comes on, your heart sinks a little because you don’t know what it means or what to do. Just as stressful can be the fear of the unknown or the cost of the unknown.
But take a deep breath and remember that just because the light is on doesn’t mean you have to pull over to the side of the road and call a tow truck. However, you should get your Buick checked out as soon as you can. If you ignore that warning, it could damage expensive engine parts in a big way.
When your Buick’s ECM, which is the onboard computer, finds a problem in the electronic control system that it can’t fix, a computer turns on your check engine light. This amber or yellow light usually says “Check engine” or “Service engine soon.” Sometimes, the light is just a picture of an engine or the word “check” next to a picture of the engine.
When the light comes on, the ECM stores a “trouble code” in its memory that tells what the problem is, whether it’s a sensor or a broken part of the engine. Our auto repair technicians at Coggin Buick/GMC of Orange Park use an electronic scan tool to read this code.
If you want to do it yourself, there are also a number of code readers that are pretty cheap and are made for that. Even though this code will tell you what the problem is, only a trained professional can really figure out what is wrong and fix it.
What Does It Cost To Check The Engine Light
The check engine light can be a sign of problems as small as a loose gas cap or as big as a bad catalytic converter or a problem with one of the car’s oxygen sensors, so it’s important to read the codes and figure out what’s wrong. The average cost to diagnose and test a check engine light is between $88 and $111.
The good news is that most of the time, Coggin Buick/GMC of Orange Park offers free multi-point inspections and free diagnostics to help you figure out why your check engine light is on.
Check Engine Light Codes
When the check engine light comes on, it can be scary to see that little light on your car’s dashboard light up all of a sudden. However, you shouldn’t run away in fear right away.
If you hear the term “diagnostic trouble codes” (DTC), it just means “check engine light codes.” These are computer codes for cars that are stored by the ECM, which is also called the OBD (on-board computer diagnostic system) in your vehicle.
There are a lot of different things your check engine light can mean. Even though that sounds hard, taking care of basic diagnostics will teach you useful things about your car and let the Check Engine Light do what it’s really meant to do: show you what’s wrong.
Unfortunately, the Check Engine Light does not always go on with clear and helpful signs that something is wrong with a car. Since there are hundreds of different OBD codes, there are also hundreds of different reasons why the light might be on.
- Gas Cap is Loose or Missing
- Fuel and air metering systems problems
- Bad Spark Plugs
- Computer output circuit issues
- Emissions controls issues
- Transmission issues
- O2 Sensor
- Ignition system goes wrong.
- Used battery
What should I do when it starts?
If your car doesn’t have any other problems, you don’t need to worry, pull over, have it towed, or cancel your plans because the check engine light is on. Don’t take your car on long trips, and if you notice any other problems, take it to the South County Buick GMC Service Center as soon as you can.
Note any strange things your car does, like idling badly, not accelerating smoothly, or making strange noises. Tell your service advisor about these things so that your technicians can better figure out what’s wrong with your car.
Plan to get your car fixed as soon as possible, because problems that go on for too long can damage the engine, exhaust system, fuel system, and ignition system. It will probably also make your car use more gas, which will cost you more money in the long run.
Some Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light Comes On?
If your car’s check engine light comes on, you might just need to tighten or replace the gas cap. Again, the check engine light could be a sign of a serious problem that could cause your engine to break down and cost a lot to fix. Depending on what kind of car you have, the check engine light will either be on or blink.
Most of the time, a steady glow means something less serious, but a flashing check engine light means that your car’s engine is in serious trouble and needs service right away. If your Buick’s check engine light is flashing, you should not drive the car and should get it serviced right away. Here are the most common reasons why your check engine light might turn on:
The gas cap on your Buick is loose, broken, or missing.
The gas cap on your Buick has more than one job. It keeps gas fumes from escaping when you’re not driving, seals the fuel system, and helps keep fuel tank pressure steady. What will happen if the fuel cap is broken? If your gas cap is old or the seal has been broken, you could lose gas through evaporation, which would mean you have to go to the gas station more often. Luckily, it doesn’t cost much to replace a gas cap. If your check engine light comes on as soon as you put gas in your Buick, the first thing you should do is make sure the cap isn’t loose or that it’s still on your car’s roof or at the fuel pump.
The battery is dead or almost dead.
Your Buick’s battery is a very important part. Without a battery, your car won’t start, light up the road in front of it, play the radio, or charge your phone. Batteries for cars today last a lot longer than they did 30 or 40 years ago, and they don’t really need to be taken care of. The price of a new one depends on what kind of Buick you drive, but you can check out our coupons and specials for service.
Your catalytic converter is broken or is about to break.
The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system of your Buick. The job of the catalytic converter is to change the carbon monoxide that is made during combustion into carbon dioxide.
A broken catalytic converter is often caused by poor maintenance, so Coggin Buick/GMC of Orange Park includes a free multi-point check with every Buick service. If your catalytic converter is broken and you don’t get it fixed, your Buick won’t pass an emissions test, the engine won’t run as well, and your gas mileage will go down.
Your car may also run at a higher temperature, which can lead to overheating and other problems.
Your Buick needs new spark plugs or spark plug wires.
The spark plugs in your car’s engine are what light the mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. The pistons move because of this explosion, which makes the engine work. The ignition coil sends the spark to the spark plugs through the spark plug wires. If your spark plugs or spark plug wires are old or broken, your car won’t run as well and won’t have as much power. In the worst cases, your engine won’t start or will have trouble running. If the spark plugs and plug wires are worn, the catalytic converter can get clogged or the ignition coils and O2 sensors can get damaged, which will cost more to fix.
Any problems with aftermarket items.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, an aftermarket alarm, exhaust, or other part can mess up your Buick. These aftermarket parts and accessories can drain the battery, turn on the check engine light, or even stop the car from starting. If these problems sound familiar, bring your car to Buick and let our team of certified mechanics make sure your aftermarket parts were installed correctly and aren’t causing any problems. Getting accessories, especially aftermarket parts and accessories, or using OEM parts from the start might cost a bit more, but it could save you money if you don’t have to pay to fix bad work or damage caused by bad installation.
There is a vacuum leak in your Buick.
Every Buick has a vacuum system that does a lot of different things. Still, the vacuum system helps cut down on harmful emissions by directing the fumes that come out of the engine when gasoline evaporates. If your RPM is high at idle or goes up and down randomly, it could be because of a vacuum leak. Vacuum hoses can dry out and crack over time, especially if they are exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures.
Your MAF, which stands for mass airflow sensor, needs to be changed. The mass airflow sensor in your Buick measures how much air is going into the engine to figure out how much fuel you need to run it efficiently. The mass airflow sensor is a part of the engine management system. It helps the engine adjust to changes like altitude. If your Buick is hard to start, runs rough, or the throttle pedal moves suddenly, this could be a sign that the mass airflow sensor is broken.
You need to get a new O2 Sensor (Oxygen Sensor).
The Oxygen sensor, also called the O2 sensor, checks how much oxygen is in your exhaust system. If there is too much oxygen in your exhaust system, your fuel will burn faster, and your car will get less gas mileage. If I don’t replace your O2 sensor, what will happen?
Not only can a broken sensor lower your miles per gallon, but it can also hurt your Buick’s catalytic converter and spark plugs. The O2 sensor sends information to the car’s computer so that the right amount of air and fuel can be put into the engine’s cylinders. A car can still fail an emissions test if its O2 sensor is broken.