How To Tell When It Is Time To Take Your Car In For Repair

16 February 2023
 Categories: , Blog


If you own a car long enough, you will eventually need some service or repair that requires the skills and knowledge of a professional mechanic. Deciding when to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop is not overly challenging, but some things that seem minor should be checked right away. 

Check Engine Light 

Most cars and trucks have a check engine light (CEL) on the dash that comes on when the computer sends out an error code. The light is there to alert the driver to a potential problem with the vehicles, but because they come on and the engine still runs, they often get overlooked.

The CEL is there to alert you to a fault or error that the computer has encountered, and while sometimes the issue is a simple sensor malfunction, other times it can be an early warning of a more significant problem. Taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop and having the codes checked can help determine if something is going on that needs immediate repair. 

The codes from the computer can be hard to decipher without the right tools and knowledge. However, a professional auto repair shop will often have a computer diagnostic tool to break down the information and help pinpoint the reasons for the light. There are small handheld scanners that you can purchase to check the codes at home, but they are often not as detailed, so you could get a single error code that refers to multiple items in the engine and not know what to fix.

Hard Starting And Rough Idle

Cars that are hard to start first thing in the morning and run rough throughout the day often have related issues. In both cases, the problem could be in the fuel or ignition system, and determining where the issues are coming from can be challenging.

Like many systems on modern cars, the sensors involved in the fuel and ignition systems are designed to help manage the way the car runs, change the fuel and ignition settings when necessary, and help achieve optimal fuel economy. If there is an issue that is causing the car to start hard or run rough, you need to take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and have a diagnostic done.

Once the mechanic finds the problem, it can be fixed right away. The tech will also ensure the engine is running correctly, or tune it for the best performance and economy after the repair. The repair cost is often not overly expensive when done this way, and what you spend now will often save you money by improving the fuel economy and engine efficiency of the vehicle going forward.   

Visit an auto repair shop to learn more.