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Every vehicle has many warning lights on the dash. One is a maintenance required light … that means your car is due for an oil change or routine care. But, your check engine light is a signal that something is wrong and brings a feeling of dread! Do you know what to do? Are you supposed to pull over?  Or, keep driving?

A check engine light does not have to be scary. It could be something as simple as a change in humidity … or, it could be a serious problem.  We are here to help you understand what to do if this warning light does come on.

Interpret the Check Engine Light Code

When your check engine light comes on, one or more diagnostic trouble codes are stored in the vehicle’s computer.  You can turn the code off, but it stays in the computer, even when the light goes off.  You can take it to your trusted mechanic to retrieve the codes and troubleshoot the problem.

When to Take Your Car to a Mechanic

Not all check engine lights are created equal.

  • If your light only comes on in certain conditions, pay attention to how your vehicle performs when it is on. You can continue to drive but have it inspected as soon as you can.
  • If the light stays on without any noticeable performance problems, you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic to find out what the code is and see if your vehicle requires service.
  • When the light stays on and you DO have performance problems, you should go straight to your mechanic.
  • If the light is blinking, pull over to a safe place and have your vehicle towed to your mechanic.

5 Common Reasons for an Illuminated Check Engine Light

  • Gas Cap- This may be as simple of a fix as tightening or replacing the gas cap.
  • Oxygen Sensor- Your vehicle has several oxygen sensors. Your mechanic will help you identify which sensor needs replacement.
  • Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs- These may need to be replaced to help your car run more smoothly.
  • Catalytic Converter- Your mechanic can inspect and replace with a new OEM catalytic converter if your current one is malfunctioning.
  • Mass Airflow Sensor- Sometimes, the actual sensor will need to be replaced.

Don’t Ignore the Warning!

It’s easy to ignore a check engine light, but that could lead to larger and more expensive problems later.  To be safe, bring your vehicle to your mechanic as soon as possible.

We-Fix-It Auto Repair is always here to help!  You can trust us to provide you the very best auto repair service and maintenance.  Give us a call today and we can help you troubleshoot your check engine light and perform any necessary repairs.