Did you know that today’s cars carry more computer power than the Apollo 12 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969? New cars have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, computers have been controlling about 85% of your vehicle’s functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do you know when there is a problem?

It’s Simple- the check engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing, and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the check engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what is wrong and what needs replacing. Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can’t tell you exactly what is wrong because there could be any number of causes.

When your check engine light turns on, you should get to Cunningham’s Automotive Repair in Ottsville, PA to find out what the problem is as soon as possible. But if your check engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and that you need to get it checked IMMEDIATELY to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or carrying heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Just like engine control systems, the antilock brake control, traction control, vehicle stability control, and airbag electronic systems all use many sensors and wiring. Our technicians here at Cunningham’s Automotive Repair in Ottsville, PA are trained in the diagnosis and repair of all of these major automotive systems. We have the latest in diagnostic equipment to aid in the accurate and timely diagnosis of your vehicle. From there, they can fix it and get you back on the road.

If your check engine light is on, you can call us at 610-847-6006 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today!