Q: What does the malfunction indicator Warning Light mean?

asked by on January 20, 2016

What does the malfunction indicator Warning Light mean?

The malfunction indicator Warning Light is on your instrument cluster. It illuminates when the On-Board Diagnostics-Second Generation (OBD II) system detects an issue. The OBD II system monitors your vehicle’s emissions. When the malfunction indicator Warning Light is illuminated, it means that the OBD II has noticed that your vehicle is not running as cleanly as it should. If the light is flashing, then the OBD II system has detected a misfire. If the light is solidly illuminated, then the OBD II system has detected an emission control system malfunction.

Tip

Like all warning lights, the malfunction indicator Warning Light will illuminate when the ignition is turned on but the engine is not yet running. You should only be concerned with the malfunction indicator Warning Light if it stays lit after the engine has been turned on.

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

What others are asking

Transmission Leak from TV cable? (Kick down cable)

Hello. The first thing I would do is check the transmission fluid properly. With the engine running and the vehicle in park, check the transmission dipstick to see where the fluid level is out. If you overfilled the transmission and...

Carburetor issues

Too many intake cleaning solutions at one time often cause more harm than good. The carburetor fueling may be the problem where the engine gets plenty of air, but too little fuel and stalls. I recommend having an experienced technician...

What are the effects or symptoms of bad fuel injectors?

Hello. A bad fuel injector can fail closed, fail open or not seal when closed and can work normal but have reduced flow from blockage. A fuel injector that is failed closed will cause total misfire all the time on...

Clutch/gearbox oil 2013 Chevrolet Spark

Hi there - your Spark clutch is a "dry" clutch, which is to say oil/grease are the last thing you want near the clutch friction surface. It does sound like yours is slipping, and may have gotten engine oil or...

Vibration in the front end. When I turn left it does not vibrat. I looked at the cv joints the look fine. Any suggestions

Claimed by John Hege

Gearshift stuck

Your vehicle is equipped with a shift interlock. This is a safety device that keeps the car from going into gear without you stepping on the brake. If the switch on the brake pedal fails, or the solenoid itself fails,...

Fuel gauge light and level indicator problems

Hello. If your fuel gauge is behaving erratically, it may be possible that your vehicle's fuel sending unit is faulty. The fuel sending unit is the component in the fuel tank that the fuel pump is mounted to. It uses...

How do I clear the P0756 trouble code?

Hi. If the code P0756 has come up, the shift solenoid for second gear is leaking fluid internally. To access the shift solenoid, you will need to remove the oil pan to the transmission. When you do this, drain all...

How do I install a car seat using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren system?

Your car features anchor points for securing a car seat called the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system. This provides additional security and stability for your child. Here’s how to use it: Locate the anchor points (they’re...

Related articles

Why Is it Important to Be Able to Pass an Emissions Test?
Emissions Emissions testing is done for one simple reason – to reduce the amount of pollution created by automobiles on the road today. Most states have at least some counties where testing is mandatory, but it’s more common in areas...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chrysler 200
In In 2011, Chrysler completely overhauled, updated, and remodeled their entire line, including the introduction of the new Chrysler 200. This reimagining of the old, boring Dodge Sebring sedan was already an exciting move for Chrysler, and the 2012 Chrysler...
2012 Ford Escape vs. 2012 Honda CR-V: Which One Should I Buy?
SUVs represent one out of every three vehicles sold in 2012, making them one of the most-purchased types of vehicles in the country during that time period. Compact SUVs are a sub-class that are slightly smaller and offer the most...