What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

by | May 25, 2018 | Auto Repair |

What the Check Engine Light Means and How to Diagnose the Problem

You are driving along in your car, probably going to work or having a weekend trip. Everything looks so good until you look at your dashboard and notice a yellow light labeled ‘Check’ or ‘Check Engine’. It is not the time to panic, just relax. This is more common than you think. That warning that makes most drivers panic should be understood but unfortunately, it has remained as something unknown and to worry over.

The good thing is that the symbol and the light are trying to give you a message, and you’re supposed to listen!

What the Car’s Computer is Trying to Tell You

When this light turns on, it will either blink or stay steady, and this could mean a lot of different things ranging from a loose gas cap to an engine in serious danger. It all depends on what you see.What does the check engine light mean

A yellow blinking light which in some models of cars can be orange or red means that the engine is in a bad state and needs immediate attention. A worst-case scenario of a blinking light is when the engine misfires to the extent that unburned gasoline is dumped into the exhaust system and this will cause excessive damage to the catalytic converter. This kind of damage is very expensive to repair. Under these instances, it is advisable to pull over and get in touch with an accredited and trusted auto repair shop.

In cases where the light is steady, the problem cannot be treated as an emergency, but never make assumptions. The check engine light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostic system, which ensures all the electronic systems are working properly. When it finds a problem in the system, that it can’t correct, it turns on the check engine light.

What can you do if you see the light on the screen? Read on for a few quick-fix solutions on what you can do if the light turns on.

Try Tightening Your Gas Cap…

A bad or a loose gas cap could be a reason the warning sign comes up. Try fixing the gas cap but it’s important to note that it may take a long distance drive (40 to 60 miles) before the light turns off.

Check Out a Serious Problem That Needs Immediate Attention…

Serious issues like overheating or low oil pressure will automatically trigger the yellow light on the dashboard. If you check the gauges and gives an indication of the car overheating, you should pull over and shut off the engine. Do not wait until you can’t start your car, investigate the problem immediately after the yellow light comes up. It can help you save money in the long run.

Slow Down…

There are instances when you notice the vehicle power is low and it’s starting to malfunction. What could follow next is the yellow light. Take precautionary measures and slow down to reduce the load from the engine.

Built-In Diagnostic Systems…

Some modern cars are integrated with remote diagnostic capabilities which can report using trouble codes. If you try the above tips and don’t get any results, use your car’s diagnostic system and take it to get an engine diagnosis at Aloha Auto Repair & Wash. It will help you identify what can be wrong.

Next Time your Check Engine Light Comes On…

The next time the check engine light appears in your dashboard, check your gas caps, the gauges for instances of overheating or if the engine is loaded. If the above fails, do not hesitate. Call Aloha Auto Repair & Wash for any auto repairs, engine diagnostics or oil changes in Allen, TX today!

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