Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. 4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Check Engine Light

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

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...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: I just got all my sensors changed and the check engine light came back on , he said we have to drive it for 50 miles, is that true

If have had multiple sensors replaced it is true you may need to drive the vehicle for about 50 miles for the computer to relearn the new sensors. The check engine light should not come on though. The check engine...

Q: Transmission is slipping in car

It sounds like internal transmission failure. I do not remember if your vehicle has a transmission dipstick. If so, check the level and quality. My guess would be that it is low and dirty. If it is low, there is...

Q: What does the Intelligent Key detection Warning Light mean?

The Intelligent Key detection Warning Light is located on the instrument panel. This light can illuminate for two reasons: 1. The Intelligent Key is left outside of the vehicle when the ignition switch is moved to ACC or ON. 2....