Most people barely know what the lights in the dashboard mean and go running to the mechanic when a light comes on. Sometimes to save you need to educate your self. Here are some of the more common lights to come on when there is a problem.
Maintenance Required Light- On most cars means you need a oil change. Your mechanic will reset the light after the oil change. This light is more common on Japanese cars.
Check Engine Light- The computer detected a malfunctioning fuel, emissions component, or a system failure. For example the spark plugs misfiring, bad sensors etc.
Tire Pressure Light- Tire pressure is low.
Oil Light- No oil pressure or oil sensor is bad. If this light comes on take you car to the shop immediately.
ABS Light- There's a malfunction in the system. It can be as small as a sensor going bad or as big as the ABS computer malfunctioning.
Now here are some tips on how to save more money while at the shop.
- If your check engine light is on and you get a diagnostic test (usually costs $100) and intend on getting the work done on the same day ask for the diagnostic charge to be taken off. Some shops will automatically take this charge of but not all. $ 100 is a lot of money and every cent counts.
- When you get you oil change, they will do a vehicle inspection. If they tell you some of your fluids are low ask him to top it off. They normally won't mind and you don't end up buying any at the store.
- If you need a part and can't afford to buy it new, buy it used. Look for a auto recycler to find that part, you'll pay a fraction of the price.