When the car’s check engine light comes on, it does not necessarily mean that it is time to 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 getting a diagnostic on your vehicle, and this 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 things 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 it could reduce your mileage. 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. Then 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 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 there is an issue with the vehicle from the check engine light to the brake pads, make sure you have a mechanic inspect the vehicle.