Check Engine / Service Engine Soon / SES

Todays vehicles use many sensor, switches, solenoids, and other  electrical components to control or monitor every aspect of the engine.
From controlling the fuel and ignition systems, to monitoring the emissions.
A problem in any of these systems, or subsystems, can cause the check  engine light to come on.

The first step in any diagnosis of the check engine light is to get the  computer (PCM or ECM)
scanned for codes. Any time this warning comes  on, a code is stored in the computer memory along with many data  parameters that were present at the time of the fault.

A simple
code reader that can be purchased at any automotive supplier  can retrieve these codes. Many of the large national parts store chains will  scan the system at no charge. The code will give an indication as to what  system has / had a problem. The more expensive scanners will also show  live data, and allow further diagnosis by being able to control parts of a  particular system.
The Check Engine Light Explained

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