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What Does Your Check Engine Light Mean?

by usedautoarena

Engine failure symbol lights up in the dashboard of the car

When the check engine lights blink, you have multiple thoughts running through your mind. It could be due to a minor problem such as a gas cap issue or spark plug, or a severe danger like engine misfiring or it could illuminate for no reason and the car needs to go for repair. You must know what the check engine light tries to tell you.

First: What is Check engine light?

Check engine light is yellow or orange color (depends upon the manufacturer) warning indicator. It is also known as a malfunction indicator lamp, which is an indication that there is a problem or the vehicle has experienced a malfunction in the exhaust, fuel, or emissions systems. No matter what the reason is, you must never ignore the check engine light. It is significant to address the problem when the light illuminates, if you choose to ignore it and stay unaware of the reason, it might bring along serious dangers.

When the car finds a problem inside that it cannot rectify, it starts blinking yellow with labels such as “service engine soon”, “check powertrain”, “check” or “check engine”.

Second: What happens when the check engine light is on?

With other warning lights, check engine light should always light up when the car starts. If stays on for longer, it is an indication of a problem.

The light either blinks or stays illuminated. If the light constantly blinks in red, yellow, or orange color, it is the signal of a severe engine misfire. It indicates the high intensity and can be the cause of the rapid failure of the catalytic converter. If you are in such a situation, it is a suggestion to stop the car and have your vehicle checked as soon as you can, delay in the procedure is going to lead to more damages and expensive repair costs.

If the colored light is still and steady, it is not and urgent problem, but you should not take it lightly and schedule the earliest appointment with your mechanic. A steady light could illuminate due to the loose gasp cap. When you face this issue, tighten the gas cap which triggers the check engine light. Sometimes, the gas cap is worn out and needs to be changed, which ultimately solves the problem.

In other circumstances, if your check engine light goes off, it is advised to check the dashboard gauges and lights. They send the signals of overheating and low oil pressure. In this case, you must find a safe space, and pull over, stop the engine immediately. The later you do it, the more there are chances of you to encounter a disaster.

At times, people also tend to mistake the check engine light for maintenance or service required lights. These warning lights are different and are not related to check engine lights. The maintenance required light is the indication that the car has to go for an oil change or other routine care.

In spite of the fact that your vehicle is giving an adequate mileage and it is performance is great, neglecting the check engine light is a bad idea. Things only get worse if you continue to overlook the issue.

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