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Q: Car cranking longer than usual

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The Engine light is on. Also, the car does not idle consistently when in park, but idles okay while in gear. Right after filling up the gas tank, the car is taking longer than it should to start.

A: Cars have many sensors. These sensors are ...

Cars have many sensors. These sensors are used to give the cars computer information about what is happening. The computer uses the information to determine what it needs to adjust to keep everything running as smooth as possible. When the computer doesn’t get feedback from a sensor, gets information that is very different than what the other sensors are telling it, or tries to adjust something in the car and cant, the infamous "check engine" light comes on and the computer just puts in a value in the place of the information to keep the car running as smooth as possible. This also means that a code is stored in the memory. The code tells the technician where to start looking for problems, not what the problem is. I suggest seeking the help of a qualified technician such as one from YourMechanic. The mechanic can extract the code, look up proper diagnostic information related why the Check Engine Light is on. Other information is sometimes stored like freeze frame data. This is like a short clip of what was happening with your car when the problem occurred. A properly trained mechanic should be able to interpret the data and use it to aid in the diagnosis.

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