You are driving and suddenly a check engine light appears on the dashboard. For many drivers, this can be confusing because they don’t know how to react. The check engine indicator is one of the most misunderstood and even scary for most drivers. The check engine light can stand for many things and you need to understand what to do in case you encounter it on the dash.
What Does Check Engine Light Mean?
Check engine light is a component of a car’s diagnostic system. In this case, the car’s electronic system brings a warning when something is wrong in the engine. The car’s computer system stores a “trouble code” when a problem is detected. In this case, an electronic scan tool is required to read the code and identify the problem. You need to take the car to an auto parts repair shop for the code to be read by a professional.
What Should You Do When the Check Engine Lights Comes On
The check engine light may blink or remain still on the dash. In most cars, a blinking light is often an indicator of a misfiring engine. This is a serious problem where unburned fuel gets dumped into the car’s exhaust system which leads to damage to the catalytic converter. You may be up for expensive car repairs if this happens. If the light remains still, the problem in your car may not be serious. All the same, regardless of the type of check engine light, your car should be taken to an auto spare parts shop for a professional to do a proper diagnosis.
Below are some of the things that you should consider:
- You need to have your car checked by a genuine auto spare parts technician: The technician examines the dashboard gauges, as well as any signs of low oil pressure that could cause the car to overheat. If your car is in such a state, it should not be driven. If some cars, the indicator may be red and this means that if you are driving, pull over and shut off the engine.
- Checkup of the gas cap: It is possible that the check engine light comes on because the gas cap is loose or open. If you know where the gas cap is located, reach out and tighten it. If an auto spare parts shop is nearby, you can get the vehicle there and a professional can check it for you. While some vehicles have a separate indicator that warns of a loose cap, others do not. You need a technician to help you find the problem.
- Check car load: Sometimes the check engine light blinks if the engine is overworked. In such cases, the car may show other problems such as loss of power when accelerating. For example, if a trailer is being towed, it could mean excess demand on the towing vehicle. You should stop towing if the such an indicator light is blinking.
- Contact authorized auto spares shop: A genuine auto spare parts shop has all the equipment that can help understand the built-in diagnostic services in your car. Most modern cars have these in-built features and a professional can determine this problem easily. Make sure you get your car checked before continuing to drive.