What should I do when my check engine light comes on?

What would make a check engine light go on?

A problem with either your spark plug wires or the spark plugs themselves could cause your check engine light to come on. Ignoring this problem may lead to a clogged catalytic converter, damaged ignition coils, or problems with your oxygen sensor.

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.

What is the most common problem when the check engine light comes on?

A loose fuel cap is one of the most common reasons why the check engine light turns on. The cap is a crucial part of a car’s fuel delivery system. It notably prevents gasoline fumes from leaving the fuel tank, and it helps keep the whole system under the correct pressure.

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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.

Is check engine light serious?

When your car’s check engine light illuminates on your dashboard, it’s usually accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. The light could be a minor issue, such as a faulty gas cap, or it could mean something more serious, such as a misfiring engine.

How much does it cost to get your check engine light checked?

The average cost for check engine light diagnosis & testing is between $88 and $144. Labor costs are estimated between $88 and $144. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location. Related repairs may also be needed.

How much does it cost to fix the check engine light?

The costs to fix whatever’s ailing your car — and causing the light to come on — can vary greatly. Repair costs for the most common check engine light problems range from under $20 to almost $1,200, according to CarMD’s analysis of millions of repairs recommended in 2016 in the U.S.

How much does it cost to diagnose check engine light?

On average, the fee to have an auto mechanic diagnose a check engine light is $100.

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.

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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.

Can engine light come on for no reason?

The check engine light can come on for many reasons. For example, something as simple as a loose gas cap can trigger the warning. And major problems, such as failed internal engine components, can turn on the light, as well.