Why Is My Check Engine Light On

January 11, 2023


When your check engine light illuminates your vehicle’s dashboard, the PCM detects a malfunction in your vehicle’s emission system. Any system that affects your vehicle’s emissions efficacity will cause your engine light to trigger. After three instances of the error being detected, the PCM will start your vehicle check engine light to illuminate


If your vehicle check engine light is flashing, this signals to the driver that a severe engine miss fire is occurring. In this situation, it is critical to stop driving the vehicle immediately and seek professional automotive help. If you continue to drive a car with a flashing check engine light, you will damage your vehicle’s catalytic converters and may cause catastrophic engine failure. It is in your car’s best interest to turn off your vehicle immediately. You will need some automotive repairs to resolve your issue. You are flashing engine light repair near me in Chico, California.


In 1968, the first automotive computer was released on a Type 3 Volkswagen. Unfortunately, this computer system did not have diagnostic capabilities for a technician.

In 1975, the first car computer was able to produce check engine lights. This computer program was in the Datsun 280Z and Cadillac Seville cars. Bosch and Bendix made the operating system.


OBD stands for “On board diagnosis.” In 1980, GM released its first version of the modern check engine light. OBD0 on the 1980 Eldorado. The OBD0 light was often called an idiot light.

GM introduced an electronic carburetor in 1981. They had two and four-barrel versions. The carburetors were able to change the air-to-fuel mixture ratio.


To pull a Honda CRX OBD0 code, first, you need to have your car turned on. Then, you connect the “jumping wire” to the blue P2 connector. After that, you will count the flashes that appear on your dash! Finally, the length and amount of seconds will tell you your code!

To pull Toyota codes, you need to turn the key to accessory mode so that the dash lights illuminate. Then you open your hood and find the diagnostic port on the passenger side of the engine bay. After that, find the copper wire and a paper clip to short the TE1 and E1 terminals. Then see what lights flash on your dash! The amount and length of flashes will tell you your code.


In 1988, OBD1 was invented by GM. It was used on an airplane! OBD1 check engine light system specifically focused on “emission control systems.” OBD1 systems were eventually found obsolete. Instead, DCCs were read through blinking patterns.

For example, if the check engine light blinked a certain amount of times, it would mean a specific code that could be read by the mechanic working on your car.


Pulling a Honda OBD0 and ODB1 codes are very similar. First, you must have your key turned to the accessory mode. After that, you must find the diagnostic port and the 2-pin connecter. This is located under the passenger-side dash. Then, insert a jumper wire or a paper clip into the other pin connecter.

Once those tasks have been completed, you turn your car on to the flashing check engine light. Those are telling you your code. Here is a list of Honda Acura OBD1 codes.

Check out this video about Honda OBD1 codes by clicking here!

To find Toyota OBD1 codes, you first need to find the diagnostic box on the passenger side of the hood. Then find a jumper wire and connect it to the TE1 and E1 terminals. After that, turn your key to accessory mode. Then watch the check engine light flash; the light of the moments and the number of seconds will tell you your code!


OBD2 was invented in 1992. However, it did not become popular until 1996. Volkswagen and GM had their OBD2

system before most cars. About two years before, it was mandatory, by law, to have vehicles with OBD2. It was invented by CARB (the California Air Resources Board).

The original OBD2 diagnosis systems had a LED screen, cable, and a mini keyboard. Over the last decade, many OBD systems have gone with a Bluetooth interface for their connection. In addition, scanners like Alltel, Snap-On, and Bosh have come a long way with the ability to diagnose programs and calibrate the most advanced system for the modern automotive technician.

There are also straightforward scan tools that the home mechanic or average joe can buy off Amazon for relatively cheap. For example, we recommend this not-too-expensive scanner from amazon for basic automotive tasks.


Did you know that all cars made in 1996 and newer have obd2 codes? They can be diagnosed using a diagnostic scan tool. OBD2 codes communicate using parameters or PIDs. Currently, there are five different OBD2 communication codes. In addition, there is the KWP, PWM, VPW, ISO 9141, and CAN codes.

Chrysler, Cadillac, and other European products use  ISO 9141. Ford products use SAE J1850 PWM. Click here to list the OBD2 codes and what they stand for. Check out this demonstration of pulling OBD2 codes with a scan too.


Diagnostic trouble codes are classified by letters and numbers such as p, Abs, TPMs, and OEM codes. Initially, OBD codes were only required to show you powertrain codes. Later on, they invented the ability to deliver more!

Each letter and number in OBD codes mean different things. The numbers stand for what is happening with your vehicle, and the letters stand where it is happening. For example, 1 and 2 stand for fuel and air metering, three are for ignition misfiring, four are for emission controls, are for speed control, six are for the computers, and 7,8,9 are all for transmissions. The zero stands for SAE and acts as a placeholder. B is for the body, including your AC and airbags; C is for the chassis and antilock braking system; p is for the power train, and U is for the User network.

There are a couple of ways that check engine lights can be cleared. One way is a fix the problem and then reset the morning with a scan tool. So first, a technician would use a scanner to diagnose the issue. Then, they would repair it. Then he would reset the code and see if the problem came back.

The Check Engine light strikes fear into some drivers’ hearts and is ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us in Chico, CA. I have even seen some customers have the light covered up with their favorite picture of their child or pet. But things do not need to be this way; Tedious Repairs is here to help.

First, something is wrong if your vehicle’s Check Engine light is flashing. That could cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components. DO NOT KEEP DRIVING THE VEHICLE! Get that taken care of immediately before you cost yourself thousands of dollars or, worse, a new engine. If your Check Engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at Chico highway speeds. Third, you need to call a tow truck of your choice; we use North Valley Towing or Brown’s Towing. I would rather spend far less on a tow than cost myself a new motor.

If the light is glowing steadily, you should book an appointment with us online or come drop it off as soon as possible. Of course, you can always call to schedule an appointment with your Chico service advisor to check it out at 5at 30-826-4275.

Some more information from Tedious Repairs on how the Check Engine light works may be informative. Most of your vehicle engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer can adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine conditions, and even how you drive in Chico.

To make these adjustments, the vehicle computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range, the computer runs some tests and may turn on the Check Engine light.

The vehicle computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. For example, it’ll turn off the Check Engine light if it can do so.

If the problem can’t be resolved, the light will remain on, and you should get your vehicle looked at Tedious Repairs. Your friendly and knowledgeable service technician will plug a scanner into the onboard diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give your Tedious Repairs technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.


That check engine light is annoying. But don’t worry; we can help! At Tedious Repairs, we can run diagnostics and repair whatever issue is causing the check engine light, whether overheating, fluid leaks, electrical problems, etc.

To schedule an appointment, use the contact information below. You can call or text, email, or schedule an appointment quickly and easily using our online app. Top-rated check engine light repair near me in Chico, California. Free check engine light reading by appointment.

Thanks for visiting, and keep coming back for more great auto repair advice!



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Buddy Rausch

Buddy Rausch

Buddy started his auto career journey at Butte College and started his own auto repair company in 2007. Since then he has worked on countless cars, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing worn, faulty, and broken parts.

After a few years, he moved to a bigger shop to accommodate his growth and to better serve the Chico, CA community. It’s a family-owned & operated business.

Outside of work Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and playing softball is one of his many passions.

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