The check engine light is usually orange and looks like an engine. It should come on when you put the keys in the vehicle before you start the car. After starting it will go out within a few seconds. If it doesn’t, or it comes on when you are driving, the safest thing to do is pull over and get a reputable automotive electrician to check it out.
There’s A Problem
Check engine lights tell you that there is an issue with your motor. However, the issue can be one of many different things. Instead of identifying the issue via an array of different lights, the check engine light illuminates. This tells you to get a diagnostic machine plugged in. These machines will talk to the onboard computer and read the codes. You can then identify the issue and decide how best to fix it.
It is worth checking your handbook. In most vehicles, a steady engine check light indicates an issue that needs to be sorted. But, a flashing check engine light tells you there is a serious issue. You need to stop driving straight away.
The good news is the majority of causes of engine check light illumination are simple and can be fixed. However, you can’t tell what the issue is until you get the vehicle on a diagnostics machine.
This is essential as there are so many causes of an illuminated check engine light. This includes not tightening the gas cap properly, a spark plug issue, sensor failure, or even low water or oil pressure.
The key at this stage is to get the car on a diagnostic machine. It can be tempting, if the car is still functioning normally, to just keep driving. However, the light has come on for a reason and, if you don’t find out what the reason is, you could be faced with engine failure and a large repair bill.
Don’t forget that an illuminated engine check light means you are certain to fail the annual safety inspection.
What To Do
A flashing check light means stop using the car and contact your automotive technician. They will arrange for the vehicle to be towed to the garage and then identify the issue.
A steady engine light and the car running normally means you can continue your journey and contact the garage to get your vehicle checked out. This will give you time to assess the issue and find the necessary funds for repair. In most cases the repair is simple, it can be done by your mechanic or yourself.
But, if you ignore the check light then the situation will get worse, potentially leaving you with a nasty repair bill. While you’re ignoring it you are also likely to find that your fuel economy gets worse and the car may even start to run rough. The safest approach is to get the expert to check your vehicle and deal with whatever issue there is.