New Orleans Auto Repair

How Long Will Check Engine Light Stay On After Repair

Check engine light - NOLA Automotive Repairs

The check engine light is one of your car’s early warning devices. The light signifies that the vehicle is detecting a problem related to the engine, which can cause significant problems later on.

You’ll find it on the dashboard along with lights that show fuel level, headlights, and more. It’s a good idea to get your car checked after it turns on to alleviate the problem and avoid accidents.

The Light Stays On

An issue many car owners worry about is the light staying on even after the repair. If you’re experiencing this, don’t panic. You may think that there is still a problem with the car after the repair, but it’s because the light needs time to reset.

Driving car during low visibility at night - NOLA Automotive Repairs

The car’s internal computer only resets after a set period where it checks all of its sensors once more. The reset can happen automatically after around 10 to 20 cycles.

A cycle is a phase where you turn on the car and turn it off again. For other vehicles, you’ll have to drive around 50 to 100 miles before it resets.

As you can imagine, you can drive the car with the check engine light on for long periods. If you find that problematic, there is a way to reset the check engine light faster.

Using a Scanner

An OBD2 scanner is a diagnostic and reset tool for the check engine lights. It shows a code to determine whether there are further issues with the car. Here are the terms it will show:

  • Not applicable: The scanner cannot detect the check engine status, or the car does not support the scanner.
  • Not ready: The car has not yet reset its computer and will still need time before the reset.
  • Ready: the check engine light is off, and the car is functioning without issue.

    Car diagnostic scanner - NOLA Automotive Repairs

Along with one of the three codes, it will also have another code that will alert you if it detects a problem with the car. When this happens, you know that there is a real issue with the vehicle, and it’s not a faulty light.

My Check Engine Light is Not Resetting

If you’re sure that you’ve driven enough for the internal computer to reset and the light is still on, there might be an issue you are not aware of.

The best option here is to have it checked once more so the mechanics can determine any other problem.

The check engine light could signify any of the following symptoms:

Airflow Sensor Failure

This sensor determines the amount of air flowing into the engine, allowing it to make necessary adjustments as you travel.

When the sensor fails, you could have trouble starting your car. The check engine light stays on when the computer notices the sensor is no longer working. You might need to replace this sensor, costing anywhere from $120 to $150.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve

This system reduces the amount of nitrogen oxide expelled from the engine. It allows the car to remain efficient by redirecting the gas back to combustion. It is the reason your engine maximizes the fuel it has while preventing most harmful gases from escaping.

Over time, it can get clogged or worn down. Fixing this requires you to remove and clean the valve. In some cases, you’ll have to replace it, costing you around $125.

Catalytic Converter Failure

The converter is a crucial engine part that turns carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. It is a simple tool that serves a singular purpose. It ensures that the engine operates properly.

When it breaks, you’ll have to replace it, which can cost anywhere from $200 to $600. You can prevent its failure through regular maintenance on the car as recommended by the operator’s manual.

Vacuum Leak

The vacuum reduces harmful emissions by redirecting the pathway of fumes. If you have a problem with it, the check engine light will often have an accompaniment of high RPM or a rough idle state.

You’ll have to get this part fixed right away as it also protects the other parts of the engine from breaking down.

Loose Fuel Cap

Pening oil filler cap - NOLA Automotive Repairs

One of the easier fixes to do, you can check your fuel cap to see if it’s loose after you notice the check engine light. You may have forgotten to screw it tightly. The car prioritizes keeping the cap tight as it helps the vehicle prevent spills and stops fumes from escaping.

If you find that the cap has damage, you can replace it for around $15. After that, you can start driving around and check if it resets after 50 to 100 miles.

Spark Plug Issues

The engine’s spark plugs may corrode and break down due to wear or intrusion of other elements. It provides electricity to the car and lets the fuel ignite within the engine’s cylinders.

You’ll immediately notice a weaker performance in your vehicle if you have spark plug problems. You’ll also begin burning through gas faster. The good news is that you can get a new spark plug replacement for around $50.

Faulty Ignition Coil

An ignition coil helps the engine mix air and fuel. Modern vehicles can have more than one coil, like the V8 engine, which has eight. Any damaged part of it can turn the check engine light on.
Once broken, it can cause many problems including, shaking, misfiring, or the engine unexpectedly turning off. Fortunately, ignition coils are easy to repair.

Stay Vigilant

When your check engine light pops up, you’ll want to have a repair right away. Any of the issues can be catastrophic if left on their own. Once you get the repair, you can ask the technician to reset the light. If the check engine light persists, there might be some other issue with the car.

The warning light has a design to help you avoid any damage to your car. Contact our technicians at NOLA Automotive Repairs and we’ll check for every issue in your car.

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NOLA Automotive Repairs has been serving New Orleans clients for nineteen years, making us one of the trusted auto repair shops in The Big Easy.
We offer a variety of services including engine repair, brake jobs, AC repair, and diagnostics.


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