No motorist likes to look down and see the check engine light come on. While the light could point to any number of issues, minor or major, it’s usually not good news. Here is some good news: If you take your vehicle in for service fairly promptly, you can usually minimize the damage done and prevent the issue from snowballing into something bigger.
The light comes on when the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system detects a problem. Of course, you won’t know exactly what the problem is, but the vehicle’s computer will provide a reference code, which correlates to the service issue that’s been detected. Using a special diagnostic machine, an auto technician will get that code, interpret it and let you know exactly what’s going on with your vehicle.
So what should you do when the car engine light comes on? The answer is simple. You should take the car in for an inspection and maintenance. It’s alright to keep driving to the auto shop, but make the appointment right away before the issue becomes more serious.
After the light comes on, you’ll probably be wondering exactly what the problem is. Again, there’s only one way to know for sure, as it could be any number of things—but here are some of the most common culprits:
The bottom line is that you don’t want the light to go unexplored for too long. Take your car in for servicing at the first sign of trouble.