The Dreaded Check Engine Light

By Mister Transmission

Some of us are old enough to remember the pre-1981 vehicles, which weren’t equipped with on-board diagnostic systems. Much has changed and now we can learn about problems before they ruin our ride!

Cars born before 1981 would indicate a malfunction usually through one of four “idiot” lights, which would tell us that our car had lost oil pressure, over-heated, stopped charging the battery, or lost brake pressure. The problem with these lights is that they usually came on after the damage was already done due to their simplistic sensor systems.

Also, these sensors and systems didn’t give a hoot what was coming out of our tailpipes as far as pollution was concerned. That changed in 1981 when new regulations came out requiring catalytic converters for all domestic passenger vehicles.

The Advent of On-Board-Diagnostics

It was taken a step further in 1996 when automakers were required to upgrade their vehicles to a sophisticated system consisting of central processing units (CPU), sensors, actuators and valves known as OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics). When a problem with the vehicle’s engine, transmission, emission system or any of the myriad of sensors monitoring the aforementioned systems occurs, a code is stored in the computer and the “engine light” is illuminated to alert the driver.

As you may know, almost everyone (including the manufacturers who should know better) refers to the light as “the engine light”. This is one of those situations where one of the first manufacturers to equip their vehicles with on-board diagnostic (OBD II) systems called it an engine light, and now it’s the generic name for lights of that nature.

A few manufacturers did refer to it more accurately by calling it the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), since it true purpose is to indicate a malfunction in the systems the computer monitors, but not many.

The problem causing the light to come on could very well be a transmission fault. A technician would perform a scan to retrieve the trouble code from the computer and then cross-reference it to determine what area is at fault.

Where most technicians make an error, is to find a transmission-related trouble code in the computer, and then assume that it merely needs a flush, service, or “magic potion” poured into it to correct the problem. Fluids or aftermarket additives cannot fix worn clutch plates, broken gears or defective solenoids… only replacing them can.

When your vehicle has a transmission-related fault code in the computer, let us remove the pan for a visual inspection. If there is excessive metal on the magnet and/or the fluid is burnt, the transmission is going to need to come out.

If your engine light is on, please contact your local Mister Transmission and book an appointment for our FREE 21-Point Multi-Check Inspection which includes removing the pan on your transmission.

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Customer Reviews
Good service and quality work.
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Good service and quality work.
Date: October 1, 2022
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Date: September 30, 2022
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William Cheekock
I've dealt with this shop with many cars of mine over many years.Ray has worked on my mini van, Trans- am and now my impala. I've always trusted him and he always comes through! Its been 30 years of honesty dealing with his business at 4900 shepherd.
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Great service. Friendly, professional staff....
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Excellent service and prices.
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Excellent service and prices.
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Very experienced in what they...
Janet Kagoda
Very experienced in what they do. Jennifer is especially very supportive and helpful in explaining everything and giving options and suggestions. Jennifer provides detailed information on every issue that my car had.
Date: September 29, 2022
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This place is the best...
Hashem Tawfiq
This place is the best for transmission issues, I had a major problem on my Grand Caravan and Mike Arbueau helped me a lot. They did rebuild my transmission and I was very satisfied. I also changed the transmission oil for my second car. I really liked their honesty and transparency when serving people. Thanks Hashem
Date: September 28, 2022
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My transmission was acting up...
Dave
My transmission was acting up on my older Chev duramax/ Allison transmission. Luckily I was recommended to Mister transmission. Kris explained how the transmission works and why it could be happening. But would need diagnosis. Being a DIY person I appreciated the lesson in the complexity of the transmission but knew it was beyond my scope. He had me back on the road with minimum damage to my wallet. Was the best experience I have ever had at any mechanics. Will be recommending him to all my friends. Thanks again to the whole team at Mister Transmission.
Date: September 27, 2022
Website: Google
My transmission was acting up...
Dave
My transmission was acting up on my older Chev duramax/ Allison transmission. Luckily I was recommended to Mister transmission. Kris explained how the transmission works and why it could be happening. But would need diagnosis. Being a DIY person I appreciated the lesson in the complexity of the transmission but knew it was beyond my scope. He had me back on the road with minimum damage to my wallet. Was the best experience I have ever had at any mechanics. Will be recommending him to all my friends. Thanks again to the whole team at Mister Transmission.
Date: September 27, 2022
Website: Google
Thanks Daryl and gang!! I...
Kevin Andrew
Thanks Daryl and gang!! I wish the world was full of shops like this but it’s not and that is what makes them special. I chatted with them on the phone about a part I needed for my Subaru . They quoted me for the part and service. We made an appointment for the service as I had to drive from Whistler. The appointment was kept, the service was completed exactly as they quoted and the price for parts was exactly as quoted . Thanks again Mr Transmission , you made my life easier, this is what great service feels like.
Date: September 26, 2022
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