In the early 1980’s, personal vehicles began to be manufactured with computers to control many of the engine and electrical functions the vehicle possessed. Along with this technology came the advent of the malfunction indicator lamp, also known as the Check Engine Light. The malfunction indicator lamp serves as a notification of minor issues with a car’s engine, such as a broken gas cap seal, low catalytic converter efficiency, among many other potential issues. In order to determine the issue, a handheld device is plugged into the vehicle’s central computer to read which malfunction indicator lamp fault code is stored. Once the issue is resolved, the check engine light can be reset and turned off.
Check Engine Light Prices
***If your Check Engine Light is “on” most Auto Parts stores like AutoZone, Auto Parts, and Pep Boys will scan your check engine light for free. In some newer cars , especially new luxury cars, only the manufacturer service center is able to check the code. If you have to have the manufacturer service center check the code and your car’s warranty has expired expect to pay anywhere from $100-$250 for them to scan your check engine light depending on the manufacturer. Luxury cars are usually the more expensive ones. If your check engine light is on best thing to do is call your local auto parts store and ask them if they can scan/check engine light codes for your vehicle year make and model. If the answer is “Yes” great you will get to see what is wrong with your car for free and if it is a “No” then most likely you will have to pay your service center for them to check. ***
OBD and OBD-II Malfunction Indicator Lamp Standards
In the early 1990s, the OBD or On Board Diagnostics system was the standard for engine self-diagnosis systems. On these older systems, it is possible to read the fault code without an expensive scanning tool, but that is also dependent on the make/model of the vehicle and not always possible. The system became outdated, however, and OBD-II was launched in new vehicles. OBD-II is still the standard in vehicles across most of the world, and requires a sophisticated and expensive scanning tool in order to read the fault codes, which there are more of and in more detail than the original OBD system. On some modern vehicle models which contain a dashboard computer panel however, it is possible to read the check engine light fault codes and even do a full engine self-diagnostic from the console directly. Other countries and regions have their own systems, such as the European EOBD, and the Australian ADR 79/02.