Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What does it mean if the Malfunction Indicator Lamp comes on?

asked by on

What does it mean if the Malfunction Indicator Lamp comes on?

The Check Engine light is actually called a Malfunction Indicator Lamp. It’s designed to come on when there’s a problem with any component in your emissions system. That covers a wide range of sensors and other equipment on your engine, as well as most of your exhaust and fuel systems. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. If the light is on and stays solid, you need to have your car inspected and the code pulled.

  2. If the light comes on and flashes, it means there’s a misfire in the engine and you need to pull over and park. Make sure there are no flammable materials under the car. Let the engine cool off for at least 10 minutes before turning the engine back on. Have the car inspected immediately.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Am I being scammed?

I hesitate to say anyone is pulling a scam, but it does sound like you've been through a lot. Lets take things one at a time. To start with, it's not uncommon for transmissions to fail after a fluid service....

Q: Dead battery

You need to check to see if the corrosion is causing a no connection from the battery to the main power supply. The corroded cable may need to be replaced.

Q: WHAT TO FIX?

The problem sounds like the engine is not running on all the cylinders. You should have the spark plugs and wires checked to see if the plug wires were put on new distributor cam correctly. Then replace the spark plugs...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...