Engine Diagnostics and Performance

Trust the experts at Stephens Automotive to inspect and repair your engine in Des Moines, IA.

Why does the check engine light come on?

The check engine light is associated with several different aspects of your vehicle. The issues and severity of problems can vary greatly. A diagnostics check is needed in order to understand the issue fully. In 1996, the On-Board Diagnostics version II (OBD II) was put into place by the US government. The OBD II gives more information and monitors more things than the previous system did. The check engine light can mean that your vehicle is emitting higher levels of pollutants. A loose or missing gas cap can lead to higher emissions of hydrocarbons and other pollutants. It’s important to get check engine light issues resolved to keep your vehicle working efficiently, keep your gas mileage up, and keep your emissions as low as possible.

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Is it safe to drive with the check engine light on?

Some of the issues related to the check engine light are minor, so if your vehicle is driving normally, it’s probably safe to keep driving. However, you should eventually get it checked. Keeping your vehicle up-to-date with maintenance can prevent bigger, costlier problems from occurring later.

If your check engine light is blinking or red instead of orange, you should get it inspected immediately. This indicates that there’s an urgent issue that requires your vehicle to get serviced as soon as possible. In this case, it can be dangerous to continue driving your vehicle without getting it examined.

Signs there’s an issue with the engine:

  • Service/check engine lights are lit up on the dashboard
  • Lower fuel mileage
  • Lower performance driving

Located in Des Moines, IA, Stephens Automotive is happy to run a diagnostics check to determine the reason your check engine light is on.

What to do when your check engine light comes on:

  1. Check gauges and lights: Some of the dashboard lights and gauges can give you more information about why the check engine light came on. It could indicate you’re low on oil or your engine is overheating.
  2. Note when it came on: Did you just fill your vehicle with gas? If so, try taking off and putting the gas cap back on. Retightening it can make the check engine light go off after you start your car a few times to reset it.
  3. Get it inspected: When your check engine light comes on, it’s best to get your vehicle inspected by a professional. There are some do it yourself code readers that might tell you the issue. However, they only provide limited information, and you have to be knowledgeable about car maintenance for it to be useful.

We are eager to help get your vehicle working efficiently again. Stephens Automotive proudly serves the engine and performance needs of customers in Des Moines, IA and surrounding areas.

Contact Us

5320 Northwest Beaver Drive, Johnston, IA 50131

Service: (515) 278-9994

Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday:
Saturday - Sunday
7:00AM - 6:00 PM
7:00AM - 5:30 PM








What Our Clients Say

Stephen Automotive has always been the best! They have taken care of my family's cars for years. The Service is top notch, price is great, and they are so easy to work with! I would highly recommend anyone to take their car there. its in good hands!

Brittany Law


I can highly recommend Stephens Automotive for auto repair. They are very professional, competent, Friendly, prompt, family-oriented, and above all Honest. During my car's inspection and repair they communicated clearly and quickly, and informed me of what to keep an eye on in the future with the car. if you're on the fence, go to Stephens for your automotive needs.

David Mason

Local Guide

I had my best experience at stephens. Jeff was extremely nice and very professional. He not only helped me get approved, i got my dream car. Every other dealership didn't even try to help me get approved, but jeff went out of his way to help me. I was honest up front with him about my situation. I highly recommend stephens automotive.

Chris M.




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Your Automotive Repair & Maintenance Service specialist