VW Check Engine Light

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Volkswagen Check Engine Light

A flashing light indicates that the problem is perilous and if not taken care of immediately may result in major damage to the vehicle. If the check engine light in your VW starts flashing, that means that the problem needs precipitous attention and your VW should be brought in immediately. This blinking light usually indicates a severe engine misfire allowing unburned fuel to be dumped into the exhaust system. There it can quickly raise the temperature of the catalytic converter to a point where damage is likely, requiring an expensive repair. Some owners ask if spark plugs cause the check engine light to flash? This can absolutely be the cause. A bad, old or dirty spark plug can cause the engine to misfire. If the problem is ignored or you continue to commute, this can spread to the spark plug wires, catalytic converter, or ignition coils which can lead to a particularly expensive repair. If your check engine light is flashing, please contact our team of automotive experts at Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta rapidly by calling 770-629-9081.

Volkswagen Check Engine Light Codes

The check engine light turning on can be quite intimidating to see that little light on your vehicle’s dashboard suddenly illuminates, but in reality, it is not something that should cause you to shut down in fear right away. If you hear the term, diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), these are just another name for check engine light codes. These are automotive computer codes stored by the ECM, also known as the OBD (on-board computer diagnostic system) in your. There are hundreds of different codes that your check engine light can represent. While that sounds daunting, with a little patience, tackling basic diagnostics will give you useful knowledge about your vehicle and will also allow that Check Engine Light to do what it is really supposed to do: be your guide. Unfortunately, obvious and helpful vehicle symptoms do not always accompany an illuminated Check Engine Light. Since there are hundreds of possible OBD codes, there are also hundreds of possible reasons for the light, including:

  • Transmission issues
  • Old Battery
  • O2 Sensor
  • Fuel and air metering systems problems
  • Ignition system faults
  • Emissions controls issues
  • Computer output circuit issues
  • Loose Gas Cap or Missing Gas Cap
  • Bad Spark Plugs
This is why it is important for someone who does not have a lot of automotive knowledge to not assume what a code means. Call Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta at 770-629-9081 today or schedule your check engine light service online today! If the engine light comes on due to a compelling concern, you risk damaging your car further by not repairing the issue proper away. When your check engine light comes on, you should get it checked out hastily by a certified VW mechanic.

Is it safe to drive your VW with the check engine light on?

This question is not highly simple because it all depends on the severity of the issue. If the cause is a minor issue, such as a loose gas cap, it should be safe to drive. This is commonly indicated by a persistent glow of the check engine light. If you notice a difference in the performance of the automobile, it could be an indication of a more relentless problem. If the check engine light is glaring, this means that there is a relentless issue and it is recommended to service your VW rapidly. Call the experts at Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta by dialing 770-629-9081 so you can describe the issues. Or reduce your speed and transport your VW to our certified mechanics as soon as conceivable.

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

One of the most commonly misunderstood lights or indicators in your VW is the check engine light. The check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system, and displays in a few different ways. It can say "Check Engine", it can be a symbol of an engine, it can even be a combination of both. This light illuminates in either an amber or red color and is part of the diagnostics system found on your vehicle. Onboard computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance since the 80s and do a variety of things for your VW. Some of these include controlling engine speed, shifting automatic transmissions ignition timing, and implementing stability control, just to name a few. With that being said, the check engine light can mean a variety of different things. It can be as simple as your gas cap being loose or as serious as engine knocking. If your check engine light is on in your Volkswagen, contact Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta. Contact Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta today! Our VW service department can aid you learn what code is turning your check engine light on or scan why your check engine light is flashing.

Will the check engine light reset itself?

The check engine light on your VW will usually shut itself off if the issue or code that caused it to turn on is fixed. For example, if the cause of your check engine light coming on was a loose gas cap, if it's tightened, the light will turn itself off. Likewise, if your catalytic converter is going functional, and you did a lot of stop-and-go driving, that may have turned on the check engine light due to the high usage of the converter. In most cases, your VW light will go off after about 20-40 miles. If you drive over that amount and the light is still on, you will need to bring it in to Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta so the light and code can be double-checked and reset.

Check Engine Light Service Volkswagen

What do you do when you’re driving along in your Volkswagen and suddenly, a yellow light illuminates on your dash and says "Check Engine". If you’re like most VW owners, your heart sinks a little because you have little idea about what that light is trying to tell you or how you should react. The fear of the unknown (or the cost of the unknown) can be just as stressful. But take a deep breath and realize the light coming on doesn’t mean you have to pull the car over to the side of the road and call a tow truck, but it is recommended that you get your VW checked as soon as possible. Ignoring that warning could end up causing major damage to expensive engine components.

When your VW 's ECM (electronic control module), which is the vehicle's onboard computer, finds a problem in the electronic control system that it can’t correct, a computer turns on your check engine light. This amber or yellow light is typically labeled “check engine” or “service engine soon”, or the light may be nothing more than a picture of an engine, or a picture of the engine with the word “check.”

When the light turns on, the ECM stores an engine code or “trouble code” in its memory that identifies as the issue, whether it's a sensor or a failing engine part. This code is read with an electronic scan tool that is used by our VW auto repair mechanics at Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta. There are also a number of relatively inexpensive code readers that are designed for do-it-yourselfers, should you choose that route too. While this code will tell you the issue that is detected, a true diagnosis still requires an experienced professional to determine the issue and repair it.

What could cause the check engine light to come on in a VW?

When your check engine light comes on, this could be as simple as tightening or replacing your gas cap. Likewise, the check engine light could also be a warning of a serious problem that could cause serious damage to your engine and come with a hefty repair bill. Depending on your make and model, the check engine light will illuminate or blink. A steady glow typically means something less serious but a flashing check engine light indicates that your vehicle’s engine is in serious trouble and service is needed immediately. If your check engine light is flashing in your VW, we highly recommend not to drive the vehicle and schedule Volkswagen service today. Below is a list of the most common reasons your check engine light can come on:

  • Your mass airflow sensor (known as MAF) needs to be replaced. The mass airflow sensor in your VW is what determines how much fuel is needed to run your engine efficiently by measuring the amount of air entering the engine. As a part of the engine management system, the mass airflow sensor helps adjust to substantial changes, same altitude. If your VW is having trouble starting, idling rough or has a sudden change in the position of the throttle pedal, this could be a sign of a bad mass airflow sensor.
  • The battery is low or dead. The battery in your VW is every significant. Without a car battery, your car won’t start, light up the road ahead, play the radio or charge your phone. Today’s car batteries last much longer than they did some decades ago, and they don't truly require maintenance. The price of a new one depends on the type of VW you drive, but check our actual service coupons and specials.
  • One of the most respectable and copious cause is that your VW gas cap is loose, damaged or missing. The gas cap for your VW serves multiple purposes. It prevents gas fumes from being released when you aren't driving, it seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure within the fuel tank. What happens if you have a bad fuel cap? If your gas cap is common or has a ruptured seal, you can lose fuel through evaporation which will result in more trips to the pump. Luckily, to replace a gas cap isn't expensive. If your check engine light turns on shortly after you put gas in your VW, first thing you should check is to make fearless the cap isn’t loose — or that it's still on your car’s roof or at the fuel pump.
  • New Spark Plugs or Plug Wires are needed for your Volkswagen. The spark plugs are the part of your engine that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle. This explosion is what moves the pistons and makes the engine run. The spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. If your spark plugs or spark plug wires are bad or common, you will experience poor performance and reduced power. In some extreme cases, your engine will have trouble starting or continuing to run. Worn spark plugs and plug wires can cause clogged catalytic converter or damage to ignition coils and O2 sensors, leading to more expensive repairs.
  • Issues with any aftermarket items. An aftermarket alarm, exhaust or extra item can wreak havoc on your VW if it’s not installed well. These aftermarket parts and accessories can drain the battery, trigger the check engine light, or even prevent the vehicle from starting. If these issues sound beneficial, bring your to VW and have our team of certified mechanics ensure that your aftermarket items were installed correctly and aren't causing any issue. Getting accessories, especially aftermarket parts and accessories, or using OEM parts first place might price a small bit more but could save you money from having to get poor work and damage caused by poor installation work corrected.
  • Your catalytic converter is bad or going bad. The catalytic converter is a part of your VW ’s exhaust system. The catalytic converter's function is to turn the carbon monoxide created by the combustion process into carbon dioxide. A damaged catalytic converter is commonly caused by neglected maintenance, which is why Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta offers a complimentary multi-point inspection with every VW service. If you have an issue with your catalytic converter and don't get it fixed, your VW will not pass an emissions test, show a lack of engine performance and will negatively affect your fuel economy. Your car may run at a higher temperature, too, which can cause extra problems from overheating.
  • Your O2 Sensor (Oxygen Sensor) needs to be replaced. The Oxygen sensor, commonplace as the O2 sensor, measures the amount of oxygen in your exhaust system. If there is excess oxygen in your exhaust system, fuel burns faster and your vehicle will be less persistent when it comes to fuel economy. So what happens if I don’t replace your O2 sensor? A faulty sensor can not only affect your miles per gallon, but it can cause damage to your catalytic converter and your Volkswagen's spark plugs. The O2 sensor sends data to the vehicle’s onboard computer to read the honest mixture of air and fuel that enters the cylinders in your engine. A bad O2 sensor can also cause a car to fail an emissions test.
  • Your VW has a vacuum leak. Every VW has a vacuum system that performs a enormous variety of functions. The vacuum system also helps lessen harmful emissions by routing the fumes as gasoline evaporates through the engine. If you notice that your RPM is high in idle or randomly surges, a vacuum leak could be the cause. Over time, vacuum hoses can dehydrated out and crack, especially if they’re exposed to competent heat or extreme bitter.

How many miles can you drive with the check engine light?

It could be anything from a bad sensor to plug wires needing to be replaced. Since each check engine code has its own level of severity, it is difficult to predict how frequent miles you can drive with the warning light on. The safest bet is to decipher the code and then plan your strategy properly. If you check engine light is flashing, we recommend that you pull over and contact Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta to help select if your automobile is safe to drive in or if we recommend a tow truck.

How much does it cost to get the engine light checked?

The check engine light warns of issues ranging from a gas cap that's not accurately tightened to a more dangerous failure like a bad catalytic converter or a problem with one of the car's oxygen sensors, so it helpful to get the acceptable code reading and diagnosis. The middle rate for a check engine light diagnosis & testing is normally between $88 and $111. The helpful news, Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta offers complimentary multi-point inspections and free diagnostics, in most cases, to help determine the cause of your check engine light.

VW Check Engine Light Flashing

Although there are countless potential causes of an illuminated Check Engine Light, we know from years of providing Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that there are several common causes including something as simple as a loose gas cap. Other common reasons for a Check Engine Light are faulty emissions control part, damaged oxygen sensor, a malfunction with the fuel injection system, dirty mass airflow sensor, faulty head gasket, or defective spark plugs to name a few. No matter what is the root cause of the Check Engine Light, we have the Volkswagen Certified Technicians and the certified service protocol to isolate the root problem and repair it as needed to restore factory specifications. When this happens, the Check Engine Light turns off, and you can leave the service center knowing that your VW issue was fixed.

Every VW was designed with a high-technology performance monitoring system with a computer, and a series of sensors positioned strategically throughout the vehicle on its crucial systems. The sensors are continually detecting conditions while sending data to the electronic control unit. If the electronic control unit detects that the data is out of factory specifications, the Check Engine Light illuminates telling you that there is a problem. However, that is the limitation of the Check Engine Light – it won’t tell you what exactly is wrong nor what to do about it. That’s where we come in; Nalley Volkswagen of Alpharetta provides a Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that isolates the core problem and gives you a recommendation on what to do next from a Highly Qualified Service professional.

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