Tip: Monitor Your Car Engine with Your Phone
Patrick Norton of Tekthing.com is here to talk about what you should do when your car's "Check Engine" light comes on. Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money at the dealership, you can head to Amazon and search for "elm327." You're going to find a BAFX OBD2 reader.
Every car since 1996 has an OBD2 port within 3 feet of the steering wheel. When you plug the OBD2 reader into that port, you'll be able to use software like Torque to get the code that triggered the Check Engine light. If you can find out what the code means, you can fix that part, or at least know if the mechanic is being honest.
Elm327 based adapters are as little as $6, and you can use programs like Torque for Android to create sets of gauges monitoring all kinds of engine features. If you're on iOS, you can use a device and app called Automatic. If you're a gearhead, you can monitor everything going on in the engine that's monitored by the computer.