Check Engine Light in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, or Brentwood, CA

We understand that seeing your vehicle’s check engine light turn on unexpectedly can be an alarming feeling. In order to determine the issue, computer diagnostics will be needed. The problem could be as small as a loose gas cap or could be more severe such as a bad catalytic converter. When you bring your vehicle into 26th Street Auto Center in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, or Brentwood, CA, we help you better understand what is going on with your vehicle and what we can do to get you back on the road in a timely manner.

A check engine light could be related to an emissions issue such as a faulty O2 sensor or it could mean your car has a faulty mass airflow sensor or worn spark plugs. These are all common reasons for the check engine light to come on and may require part replacement, but the true way to know what your vehicle will need is through computer diagnostics. At our Santa Monica auto repair shop, we use the latest scan tools in order to perform your vehicle’s diagnostics accurately and efficiently.

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Expert Automotive Services & Repairs

When you bring your vehicle into 26th Street Auto Center for computer diagnostics, we use our scanning equipment to plug into your vehicle’s on-board computer system. This scan tool will read the error code on the computer system which triggers the check engine light to turn on. This error code will point our certified technicians in the direction of the problem for further inspection. Once we determine the exact cause of your issue, we provide you with a full estimate of our recommendations for the work needed to restore your vehicle back to its normal operation.

A non-blinking check engine light is no reason to panic, but we suggest getting your vehicle into our shop quickly and to minimize driving until the issue is resolved. The reason is, driving with your check engine light on can cause the problem to progress and may end up causing more damage. You can trust that our professionals will identify and repair the problem correctly the first time around.

European Auto Repair And Diagnostics

If you need check engine light diagnostics in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, or Brentwood, CA, we invite you into 26th Street Auto Center today! Give us a call or use our online appointment form to schedule your visit today.


Schedule Your Auto Service For Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, or Brentwood, CA Today

Schedule your auto service at our location today; we are conveniently located near Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, or Brentwood, CA. You can also drop by at your convenience, as we may be able to perform a check engine light diagnostic test in just minutes, even without an appointment! Keep your car in good health and regain the confidence to drive your car throughout Los Angeles and well beyond with check engine light diagnostic testing from 26th Street Auto Center today!

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1. Will My Vehicle Pass State Smog Certification If My Check Engine Light Is On?

Answer: No Your vehicle will not pass State smog emissions with the check engine light on. Some emissions test stations will run the car on the emissions test take your money and then let you know that the car did not pass due to the check engine light being on. Don't let this happen to you. Bring your vehicle in for diagnosis and repair before you attempt to pass the emissions smog check for your car.

2. Will I Do Any Damage To My Car If I Drive With The Check Engine Light On?

Answer: It is possible.

The check engine light comes on when a symptom in the vehicle is creating an environment that is polluting the earth (releasing Hydrocarbons into the atmosphere). This can be something as simple as you did not close your fuel tank cap tightly enough to full-on engine cylinder misfires. The loose gas cap is polluting the environment but not damaging your vehicle where the engine cylinder misfire is not only polluting but doing damage to your vehicle's engine, and the more you drive, the more damage you will do creating even further issues. There are scenarios all in between these extremes so best to have your check engine light diagnosed properly to help keep our planet beautiful and not damage your vehicle any more than need be.

3. My Friend Has A Diagnostic Code Reader. Won't This Tell Me What The Problem Is?

This is a common misunderstanding with trouble codes. When a problem occurs that requires diagnostic for a check engine light pulling trouble codes is generally not enough. Therefore we have invested heavily in several of the world's best diagnostic machines, Reference Material and direct master tech call centers for every vehicle manufacturer in the industry.

Trouble codes give you only starting point.

If trouble codes gave you the DIRECT answer, then we would not need any of the equipment or services we currently have available to us.

4. What If You Pull A Code P301 For A Cylinder #1 Misfire What Does This Mean.

The code says misfire. Could be a spark problem, could be a fuel delivery problem, could be an air mixture problem, could be excessive carbon build up issue, could be a low oil problem, could be a gasket problem and the list goes on. There are a lot of could be's.

That is why a professional diagnostic is the best money you can spend saving you money and time. If it is adequately diagnosed the first time, it will be fixed correctly the first time, saving you the agony of having to bring back the car several times and throwing parts, money and time at the problem.

Hobbyists, go for it, otherwise, get it fixed right the first time.

5. After My Check Engine Light Problem Is Repaired, Can I Immediately Smog Check My Car?

Answer No (For most cars)

Whenever a check engine light is reset, or a battery reset has occurred all the emissions monitors (tests) will be reset to not performed. These monitors (tests) will need to run before an emissions smog check can be performed.

Most cars need to be driven in a way that coincides with what is called a drive cycle. A drive cycle is a specific way of operating the vehicle that allows particular engine monitors (or tests) to be performed. This can usually be achieved through everyday driving over a period of about 60 miles or 3 days. If the monitors (tests) have not run the vehicle will not pass emissions smog check inspection.

However there are a few monitors that can be a tricky. EX:

  1. Catalytic and or o2 Sensor monitors usually need the car to be driven around 60 MPH for about 10 -15 minutes without slowing significantly or stopping. If you live in a city where there is a lot of traffic, then this may not be a normal driving routine. If you are not coached properly on how to drive the car, the monitor (or test) will not run, resulting in many frustrating trips to the emissions smog test facility.
  2. Evap monitors can also be tricky as this monitor (test) will not run if the vehicle has more then ¾ of a tank of fuel or is less then ¼ full. So, if you always keep a full tank of gas, then this monitor (test ) will never run.

A few newer cars have the ability to run all the emissions test within the service bay but these are few are far between so assume that yours will need to be driven through a drive cycle or two before it can be successfully emissions smog tested.

6. My Check Engine Light Comes And Then Will Go Off By Itself. What Is This?

Your vehicle has seen a failure that has now resolved itself. Usually, this is for an evap system problem that results in a sticking valve that soon will need to be replaced. Probably a good idea to have it checked out next time it pops on.

26th Street Auto Center is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call 26th Street Auto Center (310) 746-4737 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.