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Integrity Auto: Independent Toyota, Lexus, & Scion Specialists Blog

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Toyota Owners: What Your Check Engine Light Is Trying To Tell You

 
Check Engine Soon Warning

The check engine light only comes on when the computer believes there's an actual problem. It never comes on based on mileage.

The computer will give a trouble code that indicates either the condition that brought about the code (like "Lean condition") or the system that it believes to be functioning incorrectly (like "EGR flow insufficient").

Sometimes the failed system will be electrical in nature that will result in a code like "Open or short circuit in coolant temperature sensor circuit," in which case there's likely a circuit problem either in the temperature sensor itself, or the wiring between it and the computer.

Some failures won't be in any of the above items, but will rather be a result of a poor power or ground supplies to the computer that control it's ability to think properly. In any case, whatever the problem is it needs to be diagnosed. It's not uncommon for people to mistakenly believe that our use of a computer eliminates the need for diagnosis.

The computer is a wonderful tool that aids us in diagnosis. It's useful enough that we've spent thousands of dollars buying computers and keeping them updated, but a computer is still just a tool; it's not magic, and it doesn't know everything. We are still heavily reliant on the technician's knowledge, experience, and judgement. Depending on the complexity of the system, we will normally get permission to spend a range of time and money for our initial diagnostic time.

Within that time we will do whatever we think will best further your purposes. Once we engage with it, it can go three ways. Best case scenario, we diagnose your problem and repair it. Next best, but very common, we diagnose your Toyota and then call you up with a quote for the repair. At that point you can say yes or no, however you want us to proceed. Worst case, we get to the end of our allotted time and we still haven't come to a conclusion as to the cause of the problem. This worst case is unusual, but it's a real possibility that should be acknowledged.

People often ask if we charge for diagnostic time. The answer is yes. They also ask if we still charge for diagnostic time if the agree to do the service or repair. The answer to that is that to the extent that the diagnostic efforts and the repair efforts overlap, the customer gets the full benefit of that overlap. To the extent that diagnostic efforts and the repairs are separate, they will be charged for separately. So, for instance: If we have to disassemble something in order to tell you that it's defective, then we may already be half way through the labor required for replacement, and of course you'll get the benefit of that. But, if we diagnose something that doesn't require disassembly, then the repair is a whole new activity on top of the initial diagnostic time, and you'll be charged for each individually.

Keep Your Toyota's Engine Running Smooth, Oil Change Every 3K!!

 

Faithfully changing your Toyota's engine oil is one of the least glamorous, but most effective steps you can take to insure that your car has a long and happy life.

One of the most important reasons oil needs to be changed is that, over time, oil breaks down due to use and exposure to heat. It becomes less effective at lubricating, which causes engine parts to rub against one another.

Maintain your engine with our Toyota Oil service.

 

Motor oil also gets contaminated by substances like dust, metallic shavings and even antifreeze. And did you know that the additive package, which is part of your fully formulated motor oil, will break down in time and become a contaminant, too? As contaminants are whipped into the oil, sludge is formed. This sludge will stick to parts of the engine causing the engine to perform less efficiently.  Eventually, this sludge can cause engine failure.

Bottom line replacing your engine is much more expensive than changing your Toyota's oil.

Our recommendation is to replace your engine oil and filter every 3000 miles. When performing this service, we also inspect it for any other needs that may have developed in the interim.

Contact Duke or Ryan to have your Toyota, Lexus, Scion Oil Serviced today! 503-408-6385
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