Q: What does the Malfunction Indicator lamp on the dash mean?

asked by on December 14, 2015

What does the Malfunction Indicator lamp on the dash mean?

Whether you call it by its proper name, or refer to it as the Check Engine Light, the Malfunction Indicator lamp (MIL) is a very critical warning system. It’s designed to turn on when something goes wrong with your emissions system. It could be something as simple as leaving the gas cap loose, or it could be something more serious – a failed oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, or something else. The Malfunction Indicator lamp should come on when you crank the car, and should go out within a few seconds after conducting a self-test. If it stays on or comes on while driving, it means there’s a code in the computer that needs to be checked.

If the light comes on and stays steady, it means there’s a problem with the emissions system. However, if it comes on and blinks, it means that your engine has experienced

a misfire and you need to have it inspected as soon as possible.

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