What the Check Engine Light Means

New Message From Your Vehicle

Check Engine Lights: Explained

Has a new warning indicator on your vehicle’s dashboard sent you into a panic? We’ve all been there. It’s hard not to be concerned when something might be wrong with your car! Check engine lights indicate a range of potential problems, from something as simple as a loose gas gap to serious engine failures, so it can be hard to tell exactly what’s going on and how to react. We recommend checking a few simple triggers and then contacting a mechanic.

Check engine lights are one of the more confusing dashboard indicators. Aside from an illuminated engine symbol or “service engine soon” label, it doesn’t tell you much about what’s going on under the hood. Serious repairs might be needed and there’s only way sure way to find out. If the light doesn’t go off after checking and securing the gas cap, you’ll likely need a professional code reader to decipher this message from your vehicle. Keep in mind that warning lights are an early alert from your vehicle to get things checked out as soon as possible. You don’t need to pull over immediately and call for a tow, but you don’t want to ignore the light, either. Unaddressed lights could lead to serious engine problems.

Code Readers

A vehicle’s onboard computer diagnostics system monitors critical electrical systems and when it finds a problem, it triggers the yellow warning indicator. Professional technicians use diagnostic equipment and electronic scan tools to read the “trouble code” of a check engine light to identify a general cause. Do-it-yourselfers can find scan tools for at-home, but it’s likely that a technician will need to take a closer look after the code’s suggestion to correctly diagnose the exact issue. Components in the engine can be very complicated and nobody wants to risk further damages with mistakes and inaccurate repairs!

If your check engine light comes on, don’t panic! Stress won’t fix anything. Get the answers and advice you need with a certified professional. They will check the health of your vehicle and let you know whether emergency repairs are needed or if you have time to return at another convenient time. If your check engine light is blinking, pull over immediately. Your engine might be misfiring and at risk of serious damage.

Written by Reggie's Motorworks

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