When you purchase your first car, it is important to properly maintain it if you want to be sure that it will run well for as long as possible. If you see your check engine light become lit on your dashboard, you need to find out what is wrong with it right away. The guide below walks you through the things you should do as soon as the light becomes lit.
Take the Car to a Mechanic
The first thing you need to do is to take the car to a mechanic. Repair shops have diagnostic machines that they can connect to the computer in your car to find out exactly what is wrong with your car. The diagnostic machine provides the mechanic with specific codes. Each code stands for an error that the computer has found. The mechanic then looks up the meaning of each code to determine what is wrong with your car.
Determine if Used Parts Can Be Used
Once the mechanic has determined what the codes mean, he or she will look at the issues that the computer has found and determine what needs to be done to fix them. If it is a simple fix, such as spark plugs or leaky hose needing to be replaced, the repair may be able to be done right away. If it is something more serious, such as a compressor needing to be replaced or a clog somewhere in the engine, specific parts may need to be purchased in order to do the necessary repair. Be sure to ask the mechanic if the parts you need for the repair need to be in brand new condition or if you could purchase used parts from a salvage yard to use for the repairs. This will often save you a lot of money in the overall cost for the repairs that your car needs.
Determine the Cost of the Repairs before Agreeing to Have Them Done
Before you agree to let your mechanic do any of the repairs that the car needs, find out exactly how much it will cost to fix the car. You want to be sure that the cost for labor and materials is included in the price to ensure that it is a cost you can afford to pay that day. If you do not have enough money to pay for the repair, the mechanic could refuse to release your car until you pay for the debt in full. Making sure that you can afford the cost before the repairs are even started could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Once your car is repaired, the mechanic can reset the light so that it no longer lights on your dashboard. Every time the light comes on, it is an indication that something is wrong with your car and that the issue needs to be addressed right away to ensure that the issue does not worsen.
For auto repair services, contact a company such as Mid-Atlantic Muffler & Brake.