Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Inaccurate warnings from the computer

asked by on

What could be the origin of the computer giving false warnings? This happens intermittently and such warnings come up as: "ice on the roads," "engine heater recommended," "low tire pressure," "service transmission," and "-36' F" when it's 95'F outside. When the service transmission warning comes on, the a/c wont work. Once in a while the power steering goes out.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I don’t know what the mileage is on your car, but it may still be under warranty. First thing I would do is call the dealer and find out. I wouldn’t recommend trying to figure this out yourself because this is a very out of the ordinary problem. But I would look for obvious damage and for something out of the ordinary.

The random nature of these failures will likely have a single origin. It will take an experienced technician to figure this out. To start, I would study each system that has given you problems and look for a common component that each one relies on. There does seem to be a few sensors or one that is causing your problem, as the problems seem to be temperature related.

I recommend booking an appointment with one of our mechanics to help you diagnose the issue with these warning lights. If you do decide to book this appointment, be sure to leave the technician a few notes detailing what is going on. Keep in mind, this could be a quick easy fix or it could take several hours to figure out what is going on. Unfortunately, symptoms such as this are often difficult to pinpoint what the problem is. Be patient and give the mechanic the benefit of the doubt.

Good luck.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Emblem on steering wheel comes off, exposing airbag

Hey there. I would recommend not trying to reconnect the emblem and wait until you get to the dealer to have them fix to replace it. Keep emblem in your glove box. The air bag should not be affected at...

Q: Knock sensor how long can I driver it knowing the issue

It all depends on the problem the knock sensor is causing. If your engine is pinging when you accelerate then you may damage the piston and valves by driving it. It is not a matter of giving a time but...

Q: Vibrations in steering wheel and warning lights on

A vibration over 50 mph generally indicates a balancing issue. It would be recommended to get these tires road force balanced. Otherwise undesirable wear patterns and tire noise can develop. The BAS/ESP light may indicate a problem with the brake...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...