What Does It Mean When Your Check Engine Light Comes On?

Your car is designed to tell you when something’s wrong. When you see a warning light appear on the control panel, you shouldn’t ignore it.

Your car’s computer senses something wrong with its engine or transmission. The check engine light comes on when triggered, but you must determine the cause. It could be anything from a minor issue like a gas cap to a more significant problem like a bad catalytic converter.

If you ignore it, you could waste a lot of time and money on what could have been a quick fix.

Knowing what warning lights mean will help you get your car back in working order. Here’s a quick to understand what it means when your check engine light comes on.

Check Engine Light Comes On: What’s the Reason?

The engine’s Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) appears on the dashboard. It’s a small yellow light in the shape of an engine. It warns the car’s electronic system of an issue.

Also known as the check engine light, it can come on for various reasons, from minor to major issues. One good source to learn the check engine light meaning is to check your owner’s manual.

Here’s a list of the most common reasons the check engine light is on:

  • Engine problem
  • Catalytic converter (needs repair or stolen)
  • Spark plugs (gone bad, damaged wires, or damaged ignition coils)
  • Malfunctioning oxygen sensor
  • Damaged mass airflow sensor
  • Harmful gas or gas cap

The owner’s manual will tell you where to locate the suspected issue. It will also tell you if it requires a simple fix or if you need to take the car to the dealership for service and a possible automotive repair.

What to Do When the Light Comes On?

There’s rarely a warning before the check engine light comes on. That’s why it’s essential to understand the check engine light’s meaning before facing a problem.

Watch your car’s performance once you’ve noticed a check engine light. Is there anything out of place?

When you’re experiencing a check engine light after getting gas, there are a few easy fixes you can make. A common cause of a check engine light is a loose gas cap, so ensure the gas cap is screwed on securely and in good working order.

Once you eliminate the obvious reasons, like a loose gas cap, check the diagnostic code on your car’s computer. If you know how to use a car scanner, you can do it at home with an OBD-II scanner.

Don’t worry if you lack experience. Head to the nearest auto repair shop for a diagnostic service. Or visit the service department at your dealership.

Automotive Repair in Fredericksburg, VA

It’s essential to be aware when the check engine light comes on. It can save you a lot of money in the long run. Treat your car like a classic, and it will last a long time.

Contact us today to set up an auto repair or diagnostic appointment. Your vehicle will thank you.

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