We’ve all been there, driving along when suddenly the check engine light is on! If you’re like most people, you probably have no idea what it means except that it can’t be good. Before you panic, read on to find out what to do if it happens to you.
What Is the Check Engine Light?
The check engine light (located on the dashboard) is a component of a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system. The light displays when the vehicle’s onboard computer system recognizes a mechanical or electrical problem. It typically appears in one of 3 different colors (yellow, amber, or orange), depending on the manufacturer, and can flash or remain solid.
Why Is it On?
When the check engine light illuminates, it can be an indication of a simple, easy to fix problem, like a loose gas cap that may need to be replaced. On the other hand, it can be a warning of a serious issue that could end up damaging engine components. If the light remains solid, it’s usually a warning of a simple problem. A flashing or blinking light is a sign of a more serious issue.
Is it Safe to Drive?
If the check engine light is solid, it might still be safe to drive your car to the nearest repair shop. Call your nearest shop for their recommendation. That said, if you ignore warnings, you could end up damaging pricey engine components.
Something else to keep in mind is that it could be a sign that the vehicle is giving out higher levels of pollutants and poor fuel economy. Either way, it’s usually a problem that could be easily figured out by a trusted mechanic. Having it fixed quickly will help prevent further damage and save you money.
Will the Check Engine Light Reset?
The check engine light typically resets itself if the problem that caused it is fixed. If the engine light stays on after a repair, the best way to reset it is to use a code scanner. If the vehicle was manufactured before 1996, disconnecting the battery can reset the check engine light. If you had the repairs done by a professional auto care facility, they should ensure that the light is off after service.
When you see the check engine light illuminate, it’s probably best to stop driving the car and get it to a mechanic as soon as possible. Hi-Tech Car Care is an ASE certified shop and a AAA Arizona Top Shop. Contact us today if your car is displaying the check engine light. We’d be happy to fix it for you.