When the check engine light in your car comes on and stays on it is important to do exactly as it says, have your engine checked. We all feel that moment of panic when something goes wrong with our car. The first thought that comes to most minds is, “Oh boy, I wonder how much this is going to cost me”.
Remember this, your engine check light can mean anything from an urgent trip to the repair shop, hours or even days without your vehicle and costly repair bills… or it could be as simple as a loose gas cap. Fortunately, Consumer Reports estimates that more often than not the problem is nothing serious.
When the check engine light is on it is warning you that a component on your car is not functioning properly. The vehicle’s computer detected that a system is not working and something is wrong in its emission control structure. As a general rule, if the check engine light is just on, it is less threatening of a sign than if the check engine light is blinking.
A blinking check engine light means that something pretty serious is wrong with your car and you should pull over as soon as it is safe to have the vehicle checked out by a professional.
By ignoring the engine light you put your pocketbook and your car at risk of a raid of the worse kind. Remember, this is your cars alert system if you pretend you don’t see it and continue driving the car, the problem which may be quite simple will often get worse and require more time and money to fix then it would had you heeded the warning.
There are a slew of reasons why a check engine light may come on. Because it does not make sense for car manufacturers to have a dozen or so different warning lights, many times problems that do not have their own warning light get lumped under the check engine light category.
The only way to really determine what is wrong with your car is to take it to a mechanic, who will hook it up to a special computer that will read the problem code your car is giving off. It may cost $50 to have this test run, but the peace of mind that it can give you to know that the warning is not serious may well be worth the cash.