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Always clean your hand tools before putitng them back in your tool box. Slightly wet tools can rust quickly.

Check Engine Light and OBD II codes

OBD II or On Board Diagnostics protocol has been a dramatic revelation in car repair. As cars become more and more computerized they have required more sensors and somewhat fragile electronic components. These components can be somewhat prone to malfunction and failure, which can complicate even some basic repairs. If you own or work on cars, you are all too familiar with the Service Engine Soon or Check Engine light. This light indicates that the car's PCM or computer has detected an error in some sort of it's operation. This can mean anything from an imbalance in emission control or a temperature problem.

When your check engine light comes on, it means the car's computer has set an OBD II code.

When this light comes on and stay on steady during normal driving, it means the car has set a code as an error. This OBD code can often be the key to the problem with the vehicle. The light will stay on steady until it has been turned off or the condition ceases to be a problem. Many times it is safe to drive a car as long as the light stays on and stays light without flashing. But to be safe, it's best to check it out right away. Check your owner?s manual for the exact procedure to follow when the check engine light comes on.

Many times the light is a result of a emissions failure and the first thing that should be checked is the gas cap. If the gas cap is missing or loose, it will cause an emission system error and replacing the cap to its fully tightened state will correct the problem. The problem may also be just a momentary glitch that resolves itself. Most makes of cars will reset themselves after 3 full cold start cycles. A cold start cycle is when the car is allowed to cool down after use (often several hours) and then driven until fully warm. So if your light comes on the way to work, look to see if it turns off after driving home, back to work the next day, and home again. (Assuming no other trips in-between) This may vary from make to make.

If you are not familiar with automotive repair, always consult your owner?s manual as soon as the check engine light comes on. It is best to stop driving and take your car to a certified mechanic.

If that light refuses to go out or comes on regularly, now you need to determine what OBD II code is being set by the computer. You either need a code reader or code scanner as part of your automotive tools or you will want to take your car somewhere to have the code read.