You might find yourself in a situation where you’re driving, and a light pops up in your dashboard. It looks like the outline of a car’s engine, and the words “check” or “check engine” might appear next to it. In this case there are two possible reasons. First, the check engine light doesn’t always mean something is horribly wrong with your car. On the other hand, it can mean there’s something horribly wrong with your car. Don’t worry, we’ll explain.
What does Check Engine Light Mean?
A Check Engine Light can light on for a variety of reasons. For example, something as simple as a loose gas cap can trigger an alert. And larger issues such as a failure of an internal engine component can cause the lights to come on. The best way to really know what’s wrong with your car is to have a professional diagnose the problem.
What Could Cause the Check Engine Light to Turn On?
The reasons cause the check engine light to turn on are limitless. This engine light is an essential component of your car’s on-board diagnostic system. your car’s computer will turn on the warning light Every time an issue with the powertrain (engine, gearbox, and associated components) is discovered that potentially result in an increase in exhaust emissions.
What we can tell you is that the check engine light comes on for powertrain-related problems. Issues with, say, your antilock braking system will trigger the ABS light, rather than the check engine light.
Of course, nowadays, because various parts of a vehicle are closely interrelated, in some rare cases, a problem within one subsystem (e.g., the antilock brakes) can trigger warnings in another subsystem (e.g., the powertrain). But for the most part, the check engine light means there’s a problem somewhere in the powertrain or related components.
Meaning of Check Engine Lights: Solid vs. Flashing
The check engine light meaning can vary depending on whether it is a solid or flashing light.
Weather the engine check light is solid or flashing, it means that an issue has been detected. But if your engine check light is flashing, there is a serious issue that needs your urgent attention. To avoid severe damage, it is important to call a mechanic as soon as you see a flashing light.
In certain cars, an emergency won’t cause the engine light to flash. If an important problem has been found, red or orange will display in place of yellow on the light.
Bottom line: Whether the check engine light is solid or flashing, you should always get your car examined and fixed. Flashing light means an urgent issue that needs immediate attention. Seek a mechanic’s assistance as soon as you can to protect your car and avoid expensive repairs.
Common Reasons Cause Car Check Engine Light to turn On
In light of this, let’s explore some of the most typical causes for check engine light to turn on.
- Engine problem.
It should go without saying that the check engine light might be turned on by engine issues. A control module uses several sensors to monitor the engine. The check engine light also lights on when a problem is found.
- Transmission problem.
The gearbox in your automobile controls how much engine power is sent to the driving wheels. Due to the close cooperation between the two assemblies, a transmission issue may also result in an increase in tailpipe emissions. Therefore, the check engine light turns on if the control module detects a gearbox issue.
- Emissions equipment problems.
There is a plenty of emissions technology in modern automobiles. The list of systems includes the catalytic converter, the evaporative emissions system, and the exhaust gas recirculation system. Each component of the puzzle is made to reduce tailpipe emissions to protect the environment and improve safety worldwide.
Since there are too many of these components and systems to discuss separately, we won’t go into detail about each one. But a problem with the emissions system might quickly light on the check engine light.
- Modules and sensors (electronic powertrain controls) problems.
The powertrains of today are controlled by a variety of sensors and modules. Furthermore, a vast data network is used to connect the modules with one another. The check engine light may light on due to problems with sensors, modules, networks, and wiring.
- Air/fuel delivery problems.
The right quantity of gas and air must be used in your car’s engine for it to function effectively. The control module will probably notice when it receives either too little or too much of one or the other. The device then turns on the check engine light.
- Ignition system problems.
The ignition system includes the spark plugs, coil packs, and everything else needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture inside the engine. The control module monitors ignition system operation. And it will turn on the check engine light if it detects a problem.
Can the Check Engine Light be related to Low Oil?
Although low oil is a major issue, it won’t make your check engine light on. However, it will turn on the oil lamp on your dashboard. This lamp looks like an oil can with an oil droplet flowing from the spout. It may indicate that your car needs additional oil if you see this light on.
Driving While the Check Engine Light Is On
Keep a careful eye on how your car is doing. Do you notice any odd noises? Is the vehicle still moving smoothly, or is it braking and accelerating?
Even when the check engine light is on, you may proceed to drive to a safe spot if you don’t observe anything wrong. However, proceed with caution and make sure to get it diagnosed and repaired right away to prevent more damage.
However, if something seems strange about the way your car is operating or if more dashboard lights start to turn on at once. It is essential to stop driving as soon as you can. Avoid abruptly accelerating or changing gears and drive slowly. Continue driving at this somewhat steady pace until you can safely pull over and turn off your car.
How A Mobile Mechanic Can Help?
A mobile technician has the tools and equipment to determine what a check engine light signifies, which might be difficult to do on your own.
Your car’s computer, which is also known as the control module, will record a matching diagnostic trouble code (DTC) when the check engine light illuminates. Your vehicle’s OBD port, which is often found in the steering column, may be used by a qualified mechanic to attach a scan tool or code reader in order to extract this diagnostic code.
Your mechanic won’t be able to determine from this code why exactly your check engine light turned on. Instead, your technician will use the code as a starting point to carry out more diagnostic testing and troubleshooting to identify the problem.
Once the issue has been identified and repaired, the engine check light should automatically turn off. If it does not turn off or if it reappears, it may need additional repairs.
How to Handle a Check Engine Light
Until you have a mechanic diagnose your automobile, you won’t know what the check engine light actually indicates. The warning might be for anything simple and unimportant or something substantial that could result in more car damage.
You might want to try tightening the gas cap if your engine light turns on. Keep in mind that a loose gas cap may cause the check engine light to illuminate, therefore firmly tightening the cap may be the solution. There’s no need to service your car if the light goes out. If the light is still on, your car could be experiencing a more significant issue.
You shouldn’t take any risk. If your check engine light is on, Get the problem quickly diagnosed and fixed.