What to do when Check Engine/Service Engine Light Comes on

Do you know what to do when Check Engine/Service Engine Light Comes on? If you don’t know and would love to know, then this post is a must read for you. Continue reading the content of this post to learn everything you need.

What to do when Check Engine/Service Engine Light Comes on

What to do when Check Engine/Service Engine Light Comes on

Just imagine that you are driving your car and then all of a sudden a yellow light comes on your dashboard indicating that you should check or service your engine, what do you do? And if you are like many car owners out there, it is just that you have little to no idea as to what the light is trying to tell you or how you should even react to it.

This is one of the most of not the most misunderstood indicator on your dashboard. The check engine light normally can mean a variety of things ranging from a loose gas cap to a misfiring engine. If this happens, the light coming up, it does not mean that you should park your car immediately and call a tow truck but rather it does mean that you should get the car checked out as soon as possible.

If however you choose to ignore the warning you may end up damaging more expensive car components. The gin also may mean that your car is getting poor fuel economy and it is therefore emitting higher level of pollutants.

What the Light Means

You should have gotten a clue as to what this light means already. The check engine light is part of your cars onboard diagnostics system. And ever since the 1980s, the performance of vehicles have been controlled and monitored more efficiently and in the process regulating variables such as engine speed, ignition timing and fuel mixture. Computers in modern cars today will the automatic transmission when to even shift.

Immediately it detects a problem in the electronic-control system that it cannot correct, a computer results to turning on a yellow warning sign that is labeled ‘check engine’, ‘check powertrain’, ‘service engine soon’. In some cases the light may be showing more than just the logo of an engine and maybe with the word ‘check’.

The computer also stores a trouble code in its memory that shows the source of the problem such as a misfiring engine or a malfunctioning sensor in addition to turning on the light that is known as the international check engine symbol. Tools such as a diagnostic computer or an electric scan tool can be used to read the code. There are also other inexpensive code readers that are created for do-it-yourselfers.

What to Do About the Check Engine Light

If the check engine light turns on, it may blink or remain constant depending on the diagnosed problem. But either way, the car should be checked immediately by a mechanic. With that being said, here is a list of things to do if the check engine light turns on.

  • Search for a serious problem that needs immediate attention. You should do well to check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or even overheating.
  • You should try to tighten your gas cap. At most cases, this often solves the problem.
  • You should reduce the speed and load.
  • Make use of in-built diagnostic services if it is available.

These are some of the things you can do when the check engine light turns on. In general, you should have the car checked by a mechanic just to be sure.


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