I have a 2004 Mercury Sable and my check engine light came yesterday. I went to AutoZone and they diagnosed a cylinder misfiring and said a tune up would be a good place to start and gave me a shop's number. Is that the best place to start? How much (ballpark) should it cost? Where do I go from there if it doesn't work? What does a tune up entail?
Thanks for your time,
Abby, the check engine light being on could be due to so many things that it is not practical to try and list them all, for the sake of our conversation, the best thing to do is to have the scan done by a qualified service center that you can feel good about, one that you trust. The light could be on for low fuel level or a bad spark plug or dozens of things. To answer the tune up question, a general inspection of the car for work needed and for safety should start at a reasonable diagnostic charge of about $75-$100. Then the service writer should be able to have the price broken down for each step of the work. If you need help in this process, come on back.
January, 17, 2011 AT 6:03 AM
My car can register a cylinder misfire if the fuel level is too low? Is the diagnostic done at a shop any different than the one done at AutoZone?
January, 17, 2011 AT 6:13 AM
Not different, but the repairing facility will not be able to just take their scan and work with it, they must have there own tech perform the scan, and yes, they will charge a reasonable fee for this to happen. And misfire can be caused by a multitude of things, including fuel starvation due to low fuel level.
January, 17, 2011 AT 7:09 AM
Did you notice anything yourself about the way the car runs other than the CEL being on? I mean it sure dont sound serious or nothing. I know people who have driven for years with that light on!
January, 17, 2011 AT 7:11 AM
Tuneup nowadays is usually spark plugs, maybe plug wires and a fuel filter.