When should I get my check engine light checked?

When should I be worried about check engine light?

Unlike a Temperature or Oil Pressure light, a Check Engine light is usually not an urgent, “Stop right now or you may cause permanent damage!” type of situation, unless it is flashing. If the check engine light is flashing, a more severe problem has occurred.

What is the most common reason for check engine light?

Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor — a sensor used to optimize a vehicle’s fuel-to-air mixture to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions — is the most common cause for a check engine light.

Is it OK to drive with check engine light on?

The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.

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Does it cost money to diagnose check engine light?

On average, the fee to have an auto mechanic diagnose a check engine light is $100. And that doesn’t even include fixing the problem, which could be just about anything.

What does a solid yellow check engine light mean?

The steady yellow light is telling you to take a look and fix the minor issue as soon as you can, but it’s not usually serious. The flashing light means that your vehicle’s engine is misfiring and you should investigate the problem immediately.

Is a solid check engine light serious?

If the engine light comes on solid, it may still be a reason for concern, however it doesn’t immediately need to strike fear in your heart. A solid Check Engine Light can mean something like a loose gas cap, or it can indicate a more in-depth problem like a fuel, timing, or transmission issue.

Why is my engine light on but nothing seems wrong?

Do a brake and steering check. If nothing seems to be acting strange, then it is probably safe to drive it until you can get it into a mechanic. Sometimes the light may come on after fueling if the gas cap is a little loose. Or it could mean your catalytic converter needs to be inspected.

Why is my engine light on and car jerking?

This means that your spark plugs are not igniting the fuel in each piston cylinder in a timely manner, causing your car to jerk around while accelerating. If your spark plugs are worn out, they should just be replaced, as they are generally an easy and inexpensive repair.

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Why is my check engine light on and car shaking?

Usually, when the check engine light is on and the car is shaking, that means you’re dealing with an engine misfire. Basically, the check engine light comes on whenever there’s an issue that could increase vehicle tailpipe emissions.

Will check engine light go off by itself?

A check engine light will shut itself off if the condition that caused it is remedied. Most of the time, when this light comes on, it indicates that one of the vehicle’s systems, such as ignition, fuel injection, or emission control, is not functioning properly, reducing engine efficiency and performance.

Will a dealership buy my car if the check engine light is on?

Most dealerships will use the check engine light malfunction as an excuse to pay you less than the car may be worth. Be ready for a very low offer for the trade in. Your research will show the dealer you will not be taken advantage of.

How do mechanics check engine light?

When the light comes on, a code is stored as the reason for triggering the light. When you take your car in to get it checked out, the mechanic hooks up a little diagnostic computer to your vehicle’s computer. They will then get a code and description that tells them what the issue is.

Why does my car say gas cap loose?

Simply put, if your fuel cap light is on, it means that the computer has detected a leak in the system, typically from a loose gas cap. If this light comes on while driving, pull over in a safe spot and re-secure the cap. Continue driving normally with the light illuminated and it should go off within a day or two.

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