What You Should Do When The Check Engine Light Is On In Your Car
The check engine light (CEL) on the dashboard of your car is there to alert you to a potential problem with the car. While the light is often ignored because the car seems to be running fine, you need to have the vehicle checked when the light comes on, and almost any garage near you can handle check engine light repairs.
Why Is The CEL On
The CEL can come on for many different reasons, so it is important to determine what is causing it. If the CEL comes on and the car seems to be running fine, it can be tempting to keep driving it, but you should have the codes checked in the ECU (electronic control unit).
You can take your car to any auto repair shop or most auto parts stores and have them scan the ECU and pull the codes and help you determine what they mean. Sometimes they can be general codes that require a mechanic to check some things on the car physically, while other times they can be as specific as indicating the left side O2 sensor in the exhaust system needs replacing.
Without the codes, making check engine light repairs is extremely difficult because many things could be triggering the light to come on. Many times people are concerned it is going to be expensive to repair, so they delay getting it checked. But if it is something significant, driving it without the check engine light repair could cause damage to the engine or transmission.
During the check engine light repair or ECU scan, some codes may come up that could indicate multiple different problems. Determining where the problem is can be challenging, but if you take the car to an auto repair shop, they can use the code scanner to get an idea of where the issue may be. Then, they plug in the diagnostic computer to see what data the sensors in the system are sending.
An experienced technician can use the CEL codes and the data to drill down the information and find the problem before even opening their toolbox. Once the tech has the detailed information, they can make the necessary check engine light repair and get you back on the road.
There are times when the CEL will come on, but there is nothing wrong with the car. For instance, the light may come on after you have been to the gas station because the gas cap was not properly secured. The sensors in the EVAP system will read a leak and trigger the light, but tightening the gas cap may make the light go out.
Don't ignore the CEL if it comes on, and don't be afraid to get the car checked. It may not even be serious or expensive to repair.
For more information about check engine light repair, contact an auto service shop in your area.