*Please note that most late model Subaru's require synthetic oil. Most other models qualify for the conventional pricing.
Do you have a check engine light on, and want to know what it means? There are a variety of malfunctions that can cause this to display - some serious and some not so serious. We will gladly help you diagnose your vehicle and get you back on the road. Our factory certified technicians will handle your Subaru or other make with all the care and love that goes into a fresh batch of grandma's cookies. As always, give us a call with any questions at (888) 329-0486.


Larry H. Miller Subaru Boise

11196 West Fairview Ave.
Directions Boise, ID 83713

  • Sales: 888-628-3910
  • Service: 888-329-0486
  • Parts: 888-306-0907

Check Engine Lights:

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what to do when the check engine light in your Subaru comes on.  The check engine light, often referred to in literature as the MIL for "malfunction indicator light", comes on when there is something going on with the vehicle that would keep it from passing an emission test.  As a matter of fact, it is actually the computer in your car that does the emissions test.  When you go for your state test the test facility plugs their computer into yours to confirm that all of the systems that are tested have indeed been tested and that the computer has not been tampered with.

There are many things that will cause the check engine light to come on but it doesn't exactly mean that there is something wrong with the engine.  For instance, running the engine low on oil does not turn the check engine light on until the low oil level causes some other malfunction such as a valve timing solenoid (that is operated by oil pressure) to malfunction.  Letting the engine oil level get this low is very bad for the engine and is either an indication that it has been too long between oil changes or there is an issue, such as a leak, causing the engine to use oil. When the check engine light does come on the cruise control light will blink indicating that the cruise control has been disabled and the vehicle's dynamic stability control light will come on indicating that it also has been disabled. 

There is no reason to panic and it is okay to keep driving the car. Many of the things that turn the check engine light on cause no drive-ability issues at all, the check engine light is the only indication there is a problem.  Some of the things that turn the check engine light on, such as a knock sensor or Oxygen sensor, may cause subtle drive-ability  issues and certainly will affect fuel mileage.  The bottom line is that in these situations, although it is okay to drive the car, the check engine light should not be ignored.

If the check engine light is flashing it means that one or more of the engine's cylinders are misfiring.  It should be obvious to the operator that something is wrong with the car and when this is happening the car should not be driven any further than necessary or damage to the catalytic converter will occur.
Intermittent misfire codes can be one of the most difficult diagnostic challenges to solve.  The first lesson in auto-engine 101 is that an engine needs properly synchronized fuel, spark and compression to run.  The misfire occurs when one or more of these three things doesn't happen when it is supposed to.

Call us today to schedule an appointment for diagnostics
(888) 329-0486

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