Lake Charles Auto Repair

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Category Archives: Diagnostics\Check engine light

Why do you have to pay for Daignostics?

Why do you have to pay for Daignostics?

I often get questioned about the cost of diagnostics. The most common question I get is, “why are you going to charge me when the part’s store does it for free? I took it to Billy Bob’s Auto Parts, and he put it on his machine for free and it said I needed new spark plugs.” Well yeah, BUT….. But the machine (also known as a diagnostic scan tool) does not test anything, it simply tells you there is a failure in a certain system. Then it tells you what could be the cause. This is what happens at a parts store. At a repair shop, we are here to solve problems. Not just replace parts. We do not sell parts, we do not change parts, and we do not fix parts. We solve problems. Here’s what I’m saying. If your car is running poorly, we need to know what is causing it to run this way. Yes, we put it on the machine, but that is only the start. The machine only tells you what trouble it sees, but it does not know the cause of this issue is. That is where a ... read more

Why is there a diagnostic fee? You charge me just to look at it?

Why is there a diagnostic fee? You charge me just to look at it?

We hear these questions all the time. Mechanics are just ripping you off right?  The short answer: Testing saves you money and from receiving a headache.  The long answer: We take immense pride in the work we do. The only way to properly fix a vehicle is to properly determine what is causing the malfunction, no guesswork. Bringing it back 3-4 times paying for separate repairs that may or may not fix the concern you brought it in for is unacceptable. We spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on equipment, software, and training to make sure that when you leave, you leave in a better condition than when you came.  The photo shows a truck with a misfire that was brought to us after somebody else replaced hundreds on parts without fixing the issue. We scoped the injector and found it had no mechanical movement inside within 1 hour. Fixed the first time with a happy customer!  

My Check engine light is blinking! What does that mean?

My Check engine light is blinking! What does that mean?

The check engine light is designed to turn on when there is a fault in your vehicle systems.  When it blinks the fault has become detrimental enough to cause damage to the catalytic convertors.  Most often the light will blink due to a misfire significant enough to cause excess amounts of fuel to dump into the exhaust system.  This excess amount of fuel is then burned in the catalytic convertors causing them to superheat.  This can cause the substrate in the convertors to melt which will completely ruin the convertors.  Due to the expensive metals that are used in the catalytic convertor this can be a very costly repair.  The sooner the misfire is corrected, the more money you can save in other repairs that can be avoided by not procrastinating.  

Why is my check engine light on?

Why is my check engine light on?

Have you ever had somebody tell you “don’t worry about that light”?  I am here to tell you they are wrong.  The check engine light is also known as a malfunction indicator light (MIL for short), and it means the engine computer has seen a fault in your vehicle systems.  There are literally thousands of reasons a check engine light will come on.  Yes, some malfunctions are more detrimental than others but they are all important for a safe, reliable, and efficient running engine.  Another misconception about check engine lights is that the engine computer will tell you what is wrong with the vehicle.  It only tells the mechanic that a malfunction has occurred in a specific system.  An example would be a P0401 EGR system insufficient flow malfunction.  This code could be caused by a faulty EGR valve, a clogged EGR passage, and/or a failed sensor. The moral of the story is that amputation before diagnosis only leads to malpra ... read more

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