About one out of 15 vehicles inspected had its ‘check engine’ light illuminated and this is according to some experts.
One of the most vital components to a properly functioning vehicle is this light. With this, the driver will be alerted to a variety of potential problems that are based on the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system.
It is possible that a system in your vehicle such as ignition, emission control, or even fuel injection is not operating at peak performance when the check engine light comes on even if it appears that your vehicle is running normally.
A glowing check engine light doesn’t mean you must immediately pull over to the side of the road, but you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the warning light could severely damage engine components and incur additional repair expenses.
If your check engine light comes on, first check the gas cap to make sure it wasn’t left loose after refueling. The light can sometimes be triggered because of this. The light should go out after a few short trips if the cap was loose.
If the light remains on, have the system checked out as soon as possible. A light that flashes indicates a more severe condition that should be checked out immediately to prevent damage to the catalytic converter. When you experience a flashing light, minimize driving at high speeds or under heavy loads.
When scheduling service, make sure the automotive shop that diagnoses your car has professional technicians who are properly certified for OBD II (on-board diagnostic systems) diagnosis and repair. The technician will connect your vehicle’s computer to a diagnostic computer, which will provide a “trouble” code indicating why the light was activated.
While the diagnostic computer is connected to your car, the technician can check the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators.
When the problem is diagnosed and fixed, your car’s computer will then make sure that everything is back to normal and turns off the check engine light.
It is recommended that you not only read your vehicle owner’s manual, you should also familiarize yourself with the purpose of the check engine light and every other gauge and warning indicator on your dashboard.