Why You Shouldn't Ignore the Check Engine Light
check engine light

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore the Check Engine Light

March 13, 2019

The first thought that’s likely to run through your mind when you see the check engine light is, “How serious is this problem?” That thought is likely soon to be followed by, “How much will the repairs cost me?”

When your check engine light comes on, this is your vehicle’s way of telling you there’s something wrong with it. It might be a minor issue, such as a loose gas cap, or it could be a more serious problem, such as an oxygen sensor that’s gone bad. Either way, you shouldn’t take chances—if your check engine light comes on, it’s important that you make a trip for auto repair services in Nampa, ID to identify the underlying problem and resolve it as soon as possible.

There are two types of warnings you’re likely to get from your check engine light:

  • Check engine light on: If the light comes on and remains on steadily, this could be any number of problems, so you should take your vehicle to a repair facility as soon as you can to figure out what the issue is.
  • Check engine light flashing: If the light flashes or blinks rather than remaining solid, then you have a much more serious problem on your hands. If this happens, you should pull your vehicle over as soon as it is safe to do so, shut the engine off and call to have your car towed to a facility where it can be analyzed, diagnosed and repaired.

Keep in mind that the service light is not the same thing as the check engine light—the service light is often shaped like a wrench, or may say something like “service soon.” This is just telling you that your vehicle is due for its standard scheduled maintenance, not that it’s experiencing any type of interior mechanical problem.

To solve the problem, you should first read what the code says to you. This code comes from the vehicle’s computer system, and contains information that’s been logged by your engine’s sensors. You’ll need OBD II scanners or readers to read the warning through a connection near the steering column.

There are several ways you can have this code read. You can take it to a mechanic and pay a diagnostic fee for the service. You can bring it to an auto parts store and have it read for free, though keep in mind that workers at these stores are typically not certified mechanics. Finally, you can buy a scanner and read the code yourself.

Once you have the code, you’ll still have to determine what it means. You can easily look up the code online with your car’s year, make and model to get a description of the problem and potential repairs. However, it’s best to have a mechanic take care of the problem, as the code might just hint toward what could be wrong, rather than indicate what actually is wrong.

For more information about how to proceed if your check engine light comes on, contact AATCO Transmissions & Towing today about auto repair in Nampa, ID.

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