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What Can Cause A Check Engine Light To Turn On?

Sallas had a client who noticed that a check engine light kept coming on over and over. This customer had been to several other auto repair shops where a lot of unnecessary parts had been replaced. Naturally, replacing the wrong parts never fixed the issue and so the check engine light continued coming on.

Auto Coolant & Your Check Engine Light

When Sallas inspected the vehicle, they found that the pH level in the coolant was setting off the coolant sensor as well as several other sensors which was causing the check engine light to come on. What most people do not realize is that there are electrodes inside the coolant. You have a motor that the battery cable grounds to with water in it. If the coolant isn't changed out, the pH level becomes off. In this customer’s case, there was about 5 volts of electricity actually running through the cooling system. This was throwing off the coolant temperature sensor along with several other sensors.

Once the coolant was flushed, it stopped the problem from becoming worse, but not before the water pump had to be replaced and repairs performed on the radiator and head gaskets. If the previous auto repair shops had properly diagnosed the issue, these repairs may have been avoided by simply flushing the coolant.

In antifreeze, it’s crucial to make sure the pH level is right. This is like adjusting the pH level in a hot tub or swimming pool. The wrong pH level can literally rot the cooling system from the inside out. Without taking this step in Preventive maintenance, it’s common for the water pump, radiator and head gaskets to fail. A simple coolant flush prevents and prolongs the life of your seals, water pump and the entire radiator system. How does the pH level get off? Most common reasons are when the system is low on fluid water or antifreeze is added without checking the pH level. Also old, worn out fluid allows the pH level to get too high, causing high electrical charge inside the radiator. Flushing it on a regular basis and getting repairs done to the vehicle keeps everything in proper line with how your engine needs to function. When the coolant gets low, most people simply add more coolant without flushing it. You can do this to get by for a short time but you need to have a professional do a quick check on your system to see if the coolant falls into the good range of protecting your vehicle.

Back in the day, motors were made of cast iron. But to get better gas mileage, vehicles today are all aluminum or cast iron and aluminum. We now have different types of metals that can have different reactions to the coolant. This is one of several reasons why it is important that you keep your radiator flushed to avoid problems. Most car owners don’t know that you can’t simply add coolant without checking the pH level. If your repair shop doesn’t check your pH level then they are not helping you avoid expensive repairs down the road. Checking the condition is a very quick procedure that can avoid your engine freezing or expensive parts from corroding!

Back in 1996 and 1997, General Motors was determined to make their vehicles maintenance free for 100,000 miles. However, this caused a bunch of coolant issues that caused them to replace gobs of motors!

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

One of Nick’s customers has a 2001 Buick Century with 600,000 miles on it and they have religiously flushed the coolant every 30,000 miles. With the help of this simple preventive maintenance, they have never even needed to replace a water pump in the car.

Preventive maintenance can give your vehicle a longer life and help you avoid costly auto repairs. If you have any questions please give us a call in Kansas City, in Overland Park, drop by anytime or schedule an appointment online. We always enjoy talking with our customers! Have a wonderful day!