Diagnosing common problems without a trip to the Dealership
With many years of experience, our Service Department has seen just about everything. However, there are some customer concerns we see frequently that can easily be minimized or avoided altogether.
1) Check engine light is on. Once this light is on we need to pull a code to start the diagnosis procedure on the vehicle. One of the most common causes for a "Check Engine" light being on is the gas cap not being sufficiently tightened after fueling the vehicle. All of the vehicles are equipped with a gas cap that makes a "click" or "ratcheting" noise when they have been tightened properly. If you are reinstalling the gas cap, please make sure to tighten it until this noise is heard.
2) Power windows inoperative. The master window switch in the driver's door is equipped with a "lock" button to disable the power windows. This is so small children do not inadvertently roll them down creating a safety issue. If the windows are inoperative this should be one of the first things the operator should look at in trying to self diagnose the problem.
3) Rear doors do not open from the inside. The rear doors on most passenger vehicles are equipped with "child safety locks" to disable the rear interior door release mechanism. This is a safety feature that keeps the doors from being opened unintentionally. The two-position switch is located on the door near the lock mechanism. Please check this switch if your rear doors do not open from the inside.
4) Dash lights not bright enough. There is a "rheostat switch" on the dash that controls the brightness of the gauges. If your gauges are too bright or to dim in night driving please check this switch and adjust according to preference.
5) Tire pressure warning light is on steady. This warning light looks like a cut away tire and indicates that one or more tire(s) are low on air pressure. To make this light go out the tire pressure needs to be checked and adjusted to the correct pressure. During this inspection check to see if there are any foreign objects in the tire(s) that may be causing a leak, also on some vehicles the spare tire is monitored as well, so all five tires will need to be checked and have the pressure set.
6) Tire pressure warning light is flashing. This is the same warning light listed previously but when it is flashing indicates a problem in the monitoring system. We will need to pull a code and diagnose the problem. The most likely cause is a bad (damaged/broken) tire pressure sensor.
7) Brakes make noise when stopping. This can be a sign of brake problems or just a side effect of poor brake maintenance. The brake system creates a lot of dust from the normal wear of the brake pads. If this is allowed to buildup over time it can create brake noises. We suggest that the brakes be cleaned thoroughly when washing your vehicle. The best way to do this is a self service "high pressure" wand type car wash. When washing the car pay particular attention to the openings in the wheels, you can see the brake calipers through them. Use the high-pressure wand and spray this area to remove this buildup of brake dust, you will see the black residue in the water as it is washed off of the brake components. If this does not reduce your brake noise the vehicle should be inspected for the need of a possible repair.
8) Power sliding door and or power tailgate inoperative. On some of our vehicles the sliding doors or tailgate (rear hatch) can be operated electronically. If this feature is not working please check the lockout switch usually located on the driver's side of the dashboard.
9) Rear wiper and rear defrost are inoperative. The vehicles that have a rear tailgate (hatch) and a rear window that rolls down are equipped with a safety switch that will not allow the defroster or rear wiper to operate if the window is not in the full up position. If the rear wiper and or rear defroster are not working please check the rear window to see that it is rolled up all the way by pushing the switch in the up direction. If this does not correct the concern we may need to inspect the vehicle further to determine the cause.
10) Low fuel warning light. This indicator light will come on when the fuel tank is low. On most vehicles you have approximately 50 miles of reserve fuel and should refuel as soon as possible.
At the first signs of vehicle distress, remember to check this list. But remember, no matter the problem we are always happy to assist you. If you have doubts, questions or concerns, call the service department at 1-800-584-0716 or schedule an on-line appointment.