This blog post was written by Monte Vander Velde.
As a parent, my experience with young drivers has taught me to be cautious when choosing a first vehicle. A fender-bender may happen at some point, likely in a congested school parking lot. While searching for a vehicle for the third new driver in my family, the search criteria included: affordable price, marginal cosmetic, and fairly reliable. The vehicle would be used for a short commute to school and occasional local extracurricular travel, so I sought out an affordable option that would meet our family’s needs.
Check Engine Light ‘ON’
Several of the vehicles I looked at had the check engine light on, yet started and drove well. A quick check of the diagnostic codes performed by a mechanic confirmed what I suspected; a failed sensor had caused a perpetual alarm. According to the mechanic, the engine was functioning properly and the check engine light could be ignored. Although the mechanic assured me that the check engine light was not an immediate concern, I did not purchase any of these vehicles. Replacing the sensor would be expensive and ultimately I felt that it was a risky vehicle choice as an inexperienced driver may not know the difference between a failed sensor and a more concerning issue.
A modern hazard monitoring system has many sensors including: rub-blocks, bearing temperature, and speed. All of these sensors can fail and become a nuisance or perpetual alarm. Typically, when a sensor fails the operator will inform maintenance and rely on their expertise to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, failed sensors are not always dealt with immediately and the perpetual alarm is ignored which puts the entire system at risk. Productive alarm management methods are crucial. Alarm management best practices can help us address and eliminate nuisance and perpetual alarms. Ignoring failed sensors, even a check engine light in a vehicle, is simply bad alarm management.
What do you feel are some best practices for successful alarm management?