(703) 352-7770 |  3215 Old Pickett Road, Fairfax, VA 22031  |  Mon–Fri: 8:00am–6:00pm (After Hours Key Dropoff Available)

Check Engine Light in Fairfax, VA

Any vehicle owner who’s ever seen their check engine light come on knows the dreaded, sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach at the sight of it. While some people may ignore the light in an attempt to avoid a potentially costly vehicle repair, one thing’s for sure – the check engine light is one warning you should never ignore.

The check engine light on inside a vehicle

Check Engine Light On or Flashing? Don't Ignore It!

This warning can show up for any number of reasons – some minor, some severe. Occasionally, the light could come on when nothing is wrong with the vehicle at all, like from a temporary shift in humidity, or a loose gas cap.

In these cases, the light should turn off after a period of time (or if you re-tighten the gas cap if that’s the issue). However, it is typically indicative of a problem, so don’t assume you’re in the clear!

Sometimes the light will flash rather than remain steady, which indicates a problem of severity that needs immediate attention to avoid catastrophic engine failure.

To find out what the source of the problem is, a device will be used by the mechanic to read the check engine light’s diagnostic trouble code (DTC). While these code readers are available for purchase to anyone (and many auto DIYers own them), we still issue caution in diagnosing the vehicle problem yourself.

The reason? A code may tell you, for example, that you have a problem with a particular sensor in your car. You may go out and purchase a new sensor, ready to install it, and save yourself a trip to the auto shop.

However, upon starting the work, you discover that the sensor itself is fine, but the wires connected to the sensor are corroded and caused the light to come on.

Now you’ve purchased a part you don’t actually need, and wasted time that could have been saved had the issue been properly diagnosed by a professional. That’s just one example of how easy it is to misdiagnose a problem, even when you have a DTC available.

While tons of things could cause this light to turn on, the five most common check engine light codes in order of frequency are:

  • O2 sensor (monitors and helps adjust the air-fuel mixture)
  • Loose gas cap
  • Emissions/Evaporative system issues
  • Catalytic converter
  • Mass air flow sensor (monitors the amount of air mixed in the fuel injection system)
  • Cylinder Misfire
If your check engine light comes on, the best thing to do is let a professional figure out what’s causing the issue. At ABS Unlimited Auto Repair, we are dedicated to providing our customers with honest advice and fair prices for all services and repairs. Stop in to our shop and our expert techs will get you squared away and back on the road in no time!

AAA Approved Auto Repair Shop

VA Certified Emissions Repair Facility

ASE Certified & Trained Technicians

  • Acura
  • BMW
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Ford
  • GMC
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Infiniti
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Nissan
  • Subaru
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen

Female Friendly

Excellent Customer Service

Fair & Efficient Service

2 Year / 24k Mile Warranty

Lyft and Uber
Service Available 

  • Family owned and operated for 30+ years
  • We guarantee honest, upfront advice
  • Decades of happy customers
5-Star Review
Darcy Lee

“Christie and the crew at ABS are top notch. They are super professional and always ready to answer any questions. My check engine light went on and even though they were busy, they managed to pop me in and run the codes to make sure I wasn’t going to be left on the side of the road. When my radiator blew, they took the time to talk me through the repair, as well as speaking to my mother (who lives out of state) to explain the repair options to her (going so far as to take photos of the busted hoses with their own phone to send to her so she could see!). They definitely go the extra mile to get me back on the road with quick and reasonably priced repairs, even sending a car to pick me up and drop me off where I need to go. I’m never happy to have to go to them but I’m very happy to have found them.”

5-Star Review
“I had chased after a check engine light problem, on my own and with the help of a friend that’s a mechanic, for way too long… the tech at ABS quickly found the problem, I was given a clear estimate of costs, and they made it right. The hourly rate was reasonable, and the staff highly professional and welcoming. I was provided a ride home when I dropped off my truck. This is a top-notch service provider that I would be glad to use again, and will refer others to them, 
when needed.”