Have you ever been driving along and suddenly you notice a warning light on your vehicle’s dashboard? Maybe the vehicle is driving different than normal, but sometimes you might not notice any drivability issues at all. When no drivability issues are present, many people tend to assume that there is no real problem. They will simply look for a quick fix and take their vehicle to a local parts supplier or mechanic and have them “reset” the codes and essentially clearing them entirely.

If you take away anything from our blog, let it be this, – you can have the codes read somewhere vbut please do not just have them clear the codes or lights from your dashboard; here’s why.

Vehicle warning lights do not just turn on for no reason. They are a trigger warning or failure record that is telling you something is going on within the vehicle. Whether the issue is big or small, it is something that should not be ignored.

For example, going somewhere and having them simply clear the warning light is like holding the power button and resetting your home computer. Yes, the error or issue might resolve momentarily, but once operation resumes, it is likely that the issue will still be lingering internally and cause more issues down the road (literally).

Instead, we recommend taking your vehicle to your mechanic while the light or codes are still active that way the technician can scan the vehicle with a high-quality scan tool and be able to extract the failure codes while they are available.  

Having these diagnostic test codes read by a trained automotive technician & a high-quality scan tool will be able to determine what triggered the warning light to come on in the first place.

The scan will help the technician understand what system might need calibration, what component failed, what components lost communication in which modules, and possibly if there is a sensor malfunctioning.

If you have a code cleared, it could prolong the issue and impede the entire diagnostic procedure the technician needs to perform; therefore, costing you more money down the road.

To save you time and money, we recommend doing it right the first time, rather than simply slapping a Band-Aid over the problem. For instances specifically like these, we offer Any Time Appointments. These allow you to call us, stop by for a quick inspection, and have an ASE Certified Technician look over the issue & scan your vehicle. Anytime Appointments allow us to give our customers a quick overview of their vehicle. Then, we can schedule a time, based on what the code scan tells us, to work on your vehicle if needed.

Stay safe & healthy out there.

Caity Pridemore – Marketing Director, Pride Auto Care