Owning a car can be expensive, especially when that check engine light comes on. The warning usually means you have to make a trip to the mechanic, and spend a boatload of money.
If this happens, visit your local auto repair shop and get an estimate of what needs to be done, but don't agree to everything on the spot. Instead, take the estimate and do some research at home.
A great place to start is on a site called RepairPal.com. This handy website not only helps you find the best mechanics in your area, but it also offers a list of common makes and models, as well as the problems you may experience with them.
Beyond that, the site provides an extensive encyclopedia that allows you to look up car part functions and the definition of services so no one can take advantage of you. Create an online estimate for your car issues, and if you're not happy with the in-person estimate you were given, the site will help you find a reputable auto repair shop in your area.
So, the next time you see that check engine warning, follow these tips to avoid getting taken for a ride.