The History of the Check Engine Light

What is the Check Engine Light, and When was it Developed?

We take for granted how much history there is about automobiles. For example, not many people know the history behind the check engine light in a vehicle. Below, we’ll provide you with a quick history lesson about how this dashboard light came to be.

Our mission at Austin's Pro Max is to provide professional check engine light diagnostic services to each of our customers. Stop by today and see us in Tacoma, Washington today if you suspect a problem with the engine in your car, truck, or SUV, and let us take a look.

What is the Check Engine Light?

The check engine light is a computerized warning light that means there's a problem somewhere within the engine. In most makes and models, it will either look like a picture of an engine or will read as a phrase like “Service Engine Soon." If the light is blinking, however, it means there is an immediate problem, and you should seek help from a professional mechanic right away.

How was the Check Engine Light Created?

Dashboard lights were only used in vehicles with computerized engine controls in the early 1980s. In comparison to what we have today, these early diagnostic systems were quite primitive, as they were only capable of monitoring manufacturer-specific automobile issues. As a result, auto technicians had a much harder time determining what caused the dashboard light to illuminate.

The dashboard light didn't make its debut in all automobiles until 1996, as part of a federal mandate to reduce vehicle emissions. As such, the light became a requirement for all cars sold in the United States as part of a development of a standardized system to better service vehicles.

Have Your Check Engine Light Inspected Today

If your check engine light has suddenly come on, don't wait to have it inspected by a team of experts. Our team of certified mechanics at Austin's Pro Max will examine your vehicle's engine to determine if any underlying problems should be addressed. Visit us in Tacoma, Washington, or give us a call to schedule a service appointment today.

Written by Austin's Pro Max

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