Why Is the Check Engine Light On?

When the check engine light comes on, you might feel alarmed and confused. However, this warning light is meant to assist you in maintaining your car with the necessary auto repairs. Here’s a closer look at what to do when the check engine light illuminates.

Why Does the Light Illuminate?

Most cars are outfitted with a computerized diagnostic system that monitors how well the vehicle is operating across all areas. The check engine light is part of that system and lets you know when something goes wrong in the engine.

Typically, there will also be a troubleshooting code you can look up in your owner’s manual that will point you toward the source of the issue.

For example, faulty spark plugs make it harder to start the car in the future. A malfunctioning catalytic converter causes the car to release harmful carbon monoxide. If the oxygen sensor is damaged, the engine will burn more fuel than necessary.

What Should You Do When the Light Comes On?

car maintenanceWhen you notice the check engine light turn on, pay attention to its appearance. In some cars, a blinking or red light means that the problem is more urgent, and you should turn off the engine and seek assistance right away.

Otherwise, it’s worth taking a few minutes to see if you can troubleshoot the issue on your own. Tighten the gas cap, which often sets off the check engine light.

If that doesn’t work, lower your speed to avoid overworking your engine, and make an appointment with a mechanic.

Should You Seek a Professional Diagnosis?

Ignoring the check engine light can result in an unstable engine, making it more challenging to control the vehicle. If the engine overheats or breaks down, you may be stranded on the road or get into an accident.

Instead, head to an auto repair shop for the service your car needs. Investing in the health of your engine will improve its life span and gas mileage.

The next time your check engine light comes on, turn to Fantastik Auto Repair in Honolulu, HI. The ASE®-certified mechanics work on both foreign and domestic cars and offer both weekend and evening availability for auto repairs. To set up an appointment, call (808) 842-3777. Learn more about their offerings on their website.