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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Check Engine Light

It's easy to ignore the check engine light when it comes on in a vehicle, especially when life is busy. However, to keep your vehicle running at peak performance and avoid any safety issues, it's important to check for any problems soon after the light appears.

engine warning light on dashboard of vehicle

What the Check Engine Light Means

A check engine light is your vehicle's way of communicating that something isn't working right. Modern vehicles have a computer system within them that continually monitors for issues. The check engine light turns on when an issue is detected. The check engine light might come on if the gas cap is loose, for example. It can also indicate something more serious, such as a misfiring engine. A blinking light typically indicates a more emergent situation, while a steady light indicates something of a lower priority.

When Maintenance is Needed

Whenever the check engine light appears, it's important to have the vehicle inspected. Even if it seems to be running smoothly, a vehicle might have a potentially costly problem brewing. Though there may be something simple wrong, such as a malfunctioning sensor, it's still important to fix. An unaddressed problem can potentially result in a more serious issue or even compromise the safety of the vehicle.

Diagnosing the Problem

An auto technician will use an electronic system to diagnose the problem. Along with turning on the check engine light, the computer in your vehicle will store a code that identifies the source of a problem. The code can be read with a special electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer. From there, the technician can better pinpoint the issue and begin resolving it. Whether it's something simple like a broken oxygen sensor or something more serious like a faulty catalytic converter, a diagnosis provides peace of mind and the ability to address the problem. When the check engine light appears, don’t ignore it! Vehicle maintenance can prevent expensive problems down the road. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Custom Complete Automotive for friendly, reliable service!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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