Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Check Engine Light

Car Check Engine Light

When a car’s Check Engine Light comes on, it does not necessarily mean that it's cause for panic. However, it does mean that the vehicle needs some attention to make sure that it continues to run properly.

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

It’s often difficult to discern exactly why the light came on in the first place without having a diagnostic test performed on your vehicle, which can be frustrating for many owners. A diagnostic test is usually very fast, and it can give you a better idea of what the extent of the problem is so you can take care of it.

The Most Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Comes On

A number of different problems can cause the Check Engine Light to turn on. The following are five of the most common reasons.

The oxygen sensor could be burned out or faulty, which could then give false readings to the car’s computer and reduce your fuel efficiency. A loose gas cap could also cause the Check Engine Light to come on, so checking for a loose or faulty cap should be one of the first things you do. In addition, it could be a problem with the catalytic converter, the mass airflow sensor, or the spark plugs and wires.

What Should You Do When the Light Comes On?

Unless the vehicle isn’t starting, is stalling, or smoking, your first step should be to get a diagnostic test so you can determine what steps to take for repair. Because so many different things in the vehicle could cause the light to come on, getting the advice of a professional mechanic is often your best option.

Never Ignore the Light

One of the things that you do not want to do when the light comes on is panic or worry. Get the diagnosis and then take care of the problem. It’s not usually an emergency, so you should have time to take care of it. However, you should never simply ignore the light.

You want your vehicle to last as long as possible, and that means you need to take good care of it. Whenever the Check Engine Light comes on, have a certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic mechanic inspect the vehicle.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: Fluctuating RPM gauge when going up hills

Hey there. It's hard to tell without further information. Automatic transmissions rely on solenoids and electronic sensors to shift. If these sensors have failed, the symptoms would be similar to yours. Issues with your fuel system will also produce similar...

Q: Purge flow sensor code

Hi, it is fairly rare for this to happen with a purge flow issue. Purge flow refers to the cars EVAP system. This system collects the fuel that evaporates inside the gas tank to ensure that pretty much 100% of...

Q: Honda CRV 2005 VSA light on car is shaking while driving

Hello, thank you for writing in. The VSA (vehicle stability assist) light comes on steadily when there is a problem. If it blinks, it means the system is actively working to control the car and help it steer. If the...