Why Is My Check Engine Light On? – All You Need To Know
You’re driving along and all of a sudden your check engine light comes on. What does that mean? Is your car about to break down? In most cases, the check engine light is just a warning that there’s something wrong with your car. It doesn’t always mean your car is about to stop working.
In this post, we’ll tell you what the check engine light means, and what you should do if it comes on.
Reasons Your Check Engine Light Is On
There are three main reasons why your check engine light might be on: a loose gas cap, engine trouble, or a misfire.
If your gas cap isn’t tightened properly, it can cause the check engine light to turn on. Endeavor to check that first!
If your check engine light is on because of engine trouble, it’s best to take it to a mechanic to get it checked out. There might be a problem with the spark plugs, the air filter, or some other part of the engine.
If your check engine light is on because of a misfire, it could mean that there’s something wrong with the spark plugs or the ignition system. You might need to have them replaced or repaired.
What It Means When Your Check Engine Light Is Blinking
When the check engine light blinks, it means that there is a problem with the engine and that it needs to be checked out as soon as possible. The light might blink when you’re driving, or it might come on and stay on.
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If the light is blinking, you should pull over to a safe place and turn off the car. Then call a tow truck or have the car towed to a mechanic. Continuing to drive with the check engine light on can cause serious damage to your car.
How to Reset Your Check Engine Light
If your check engine light comes on, don’t panic! It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap. But before you go driving around with a lit-up check engine light, it’s a good idea to figure out what’s causing it.
The good news is that resetting your check engine light is usually a pretty easy process. Here’s how to do it:
- Locate the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port on your car. It’s usually found underneath the steering wheel.
- Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “on” position, but don’t start the car.
- Look for the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light on your dashboard. It will start flashing when you’re ready to reset the light.
- Press and hold the buttons on either side of the OBD port for about five seconds. The light will start blinking rapidly, and then stay solid once it’s been reset.
What to Do if Your Check Engine Light Won’t Turn Off
If your check engine light is on and it won’t turn off, don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is a common issue that a lot of people experience. There are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem.
The first thing you should do is check the gas cap. Make sure it’s tightly closed and that there’s no damage to it. If it’s damaged, you’ll need to replace it.
The next thing you should do is reset the system. This can be done by turning the car off, waiting for a few minutes, and then turning it back on.
If those steps don’t work, take your car to a mechanic for a diagnostic test. They’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong with your car and how to fix it.
When to Ignore Your Check Engine Light
There are a few times when you can safely ignore your check engine light, but it’s not something to be taken lightly. Ignoring the light can cause more damage to your car and will likely end up costing you more in the long run.
The most common reason for the check engine light to come on is a loose or missing gas cap. If you’re sure your gas cap is on tight and you’ve still got the light on, you can safely ignore it.
Another time you can safely ignore your check engine light is if it’s caused by a malfunctioning sensor. If the sensor is only reporting an issue and there’s no actual fault with the car, you can drive safely ignoring the warning light.
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However, these are just a few examples and it’s always best to take your car in for a diagnostic scan to determine the root of the problem. Always err on the side of caution and don’t take any chances with your safety.
When to Worry About Your Check Engine Light
Now that you know what your check engine light means, it’s important to know when you should start worrying. If your car is still running smoothly and getting you from Point A to Point B, don’t worry too much. However, if your car is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, it’s time to take it in for a check-up:
- The engine is making unusual noises
- You’re experiencing a decrease in fuel economy
- The check engine light comes on and stays on
- The car is hard to start or has trouble accelerating
It is vital you know what check engine light means, and the reasons why it can turn on. There are a few reasons why your check engine light might be on, but the most common one is a loose gas cap. Other reasons could be a faulty oxygen sensor, an issue with the catalytic converter, or a problem with the engine wiring. If your check engine light comes on, it’s important to take your car in for a tune-up as soon as possible. Failing to do so could result in decreased fuel efficiency and even engine failure.