Check engine light system – helps maintain clean air

The biggest challenge in the auto repair and service department is the check-engine light (which often reads “service engine soon”). Most folks think you simply hook up a scanner and it will tell you what is wrong with the vehicle. Actually, it won’t.

It will, however, tell you where to start looking. One great example of this is a Jeep we worked on in our shop. It was giving us fault codes for a device called the oxygen sensor, which acts as a “final check” to see if your vehicle’s exhaust is really clean. Oxygen sensors even measure the pre-catalyst and post-catalyst exhaust to see if the catalytic convertor is doing its job. Many problems will cause an oxygen sensor fault code even when the sensor is doing its job. In this particular Jeep, an exhaust leak allowed extra oxygen to enter the exhaust gases, which triggered the check-engine light. Believe me, these are very complicated systems. The check-engine light, part of a system called OBD2 (onboard diagnostics, second generation), helps to keep air clean. The auto-mobile is one of the largest polluters in the world, and these systems are an early line of defense.

The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) is giving the public an opportunity during Earth Month for a free OBD2 scan and a discount coupon to ECO Certified repair shops on April 14-15 and 21-22 at Valley River Center. I will write more about it on this page in my March 12th article.

Written by George Rode

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