Check engine lights costing Memphis drivers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Check engine lights costing Memphis drivers

New Memphis car inspection rules are leaving many people in a bind, including some politicians. They're hitting a road block when they take in a car with its check engine light on. New Memphis car inspection rules are leaving many people in a bind, including some politicians. They're hitting a road block when they take in a car with its check engine light on.

(WMC-TV) – New Memphis car inspection rules are leaving many people in a bind, including some politicians. They're hitting a road block when they take in a car with its check engine light on.

It's a tiny, little light you'll find attached to your dash board, but when it's on, your vehicle won't pass a Memphis vehicle inspection.

"They can't get through inspection, can't get their tags," said Ken Barton, of Barton's Car Care.

Mechanics at Barton's Car Care in Midtown said check engine lights were designed to alert you to emission malfunctions or other possible engine problems.

They say it's all part of car computers, codes and something called onboard diagnostic system checks.

If your check engine light is on you may need some professional mechanic help and for some people that could cost a little, but for others it could end up costing a lot.

"I would say our average repair cost has been three or $400," said Barton. "I've seen one as high as $2,000."

The onboard diagnostic system checks are the result of the Clean Air Act of 1970.

However Congressman Steve Cohen wrote a letter to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam claiming the program is flawed because some of the things that may cause the check engine light to come on have nothing to do with emission problems.

Cohen and others claim the program is creating an expensive and unnecessary hardship on Memphis drivers and he's urging the governor to eliminate the check engine light rule or make some drastic changes in it.

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