While it may be inconvenient when the check engine light illuminates, it is important to remember that it is a vital warning light that shouldn’t be ignored. In this article, we’ll explore the light further and also learn why it may illuminate and also how you may be able to resolve the problem yourself.
How the Check Engine Light Works
The check engine light is designed to alert an otherwise unaware driver of faults within one of the systems associated with the engine. This is designed to give the driver time to remedy the problem before the issue becomes more severe or starts to hamper other systems.
The light itself is controlled by the PCM or Powertrain Control Module. This is the computer in charge of your Bentley’s engine and transmission. When it detects a fault, it will illuminate the check engine light and send out a relevant error code.
Common Causes of Check Engine Light Illumination
There are many reasons why the check engine light may illuminate. Here are just some of the most likely culprits:
- loose floor mat
- loose gas cap
- overfilling fuel tank
- faulty O2 sensor
- faulty MAF sensor
- wiring issues
- battery problems
- problems with the ignition coils
- vacuum leaks
- leaking purge valve
- expired engine oil
- leaking vent vale
- sensor failure
- EGR valve failure
- catalytic converter failure
- false error codes
Check Engine Light Codes
As mentioned, when the check engine light illuminates, the PCM will send out error codes to help you to diagnose the problem. All problems found by the PCM will have a fault code starting with P for powertrain. There are hundreds of this type of code, though some are more common than others.
Scanning your Bentley
If you’re an enthusiast that loves tinkering with your car or your simply keen to know the process that a technician will take when fixing your Bentley, keep reading. You can purchase a diagnostic tool known as an OBD scanner for under a hundred dollars. This tool is what technicians use to interpret the fault codes stored by the PCM. A cheaper option is to download one of the many mobile apps for scanning, as long as you are able to plug your phone into your car via an adaptor. The OBD port you’ll need to plug into is found on the lower half of the dashboard on the driver’s side.
To read the fault codes, follow these steps:
- Make sure the ignition is off.
- Connect either your phone or OBD scan tool via the port.
- Turn the ignition on but don’t start your Bentley.
- Follow the menus on the reader or phone until you reach a screen which says something along the lines of “read stored codes” or “stored DTCs.” DTCs is the acronym for Diagnostic Trouble Codes.
- When you have the codes, write them down and use either the software provided on the app or tool, your owners manual, or internet research to diagnose them.
Diagnosing your Bentley
Now that you have the diagnostic trouble codes, you need to interpret them. There are multiple ways you can do this. First, you can check for technical service bulletins for your specific Bentley year and model. These bulletins are provided by the manufacturer and cover common fault codes for each make and model of the car they produce. These bulletins often offer useful advice to help you to resolve the problem too.
You can also use the internet to do some research. There are many different specialist forums that are not only great for meeting fellow Bentley enthusiasts but solving common problems, too.
Third, you can follow the diagnostic flow charts which are provided in your Bentley’s factory service manual. However, this is more complicated, and if you’ve exhausted options one and two, this indicates that you need to bring your car to a professional Bentley repair shop instead.
World Class Auto
If the diagnostic process listed above has you scratching your head, or you wisely don’t feel like wasting your time or money or risk damaging your Bentley, then bring your car to World Class Auto for reputable and trustworthy repair and service. We serve the communities surrounding the Boca Raton, FL areas. We are your local specialists in European cars, so call us today to schedule your next servicing appointment.