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What to Do If Your Check Engine Light Comes on While You’re Driving06.23.2011

When you’re driving along, the last thing you want to see is one of your dashboard warning lights come on. Seeing a check engine light can strike panic into most drivers’ hearts. However, understanding the check engine light and what it can indicate will help you understand what you can do if and when the check engine light comes on.

Onboard Diagnostics

The check engine light is a component of your car’s onboard diagnostics computer. If your car’s computer detects any problems in the electric-control system that it cannot fix, it will turn on the warning light and store a code indicating what the source of the problem is. This code can be read with an electronic scan tool common in auto repair shops.

Possible Solutions

When you see your check engine light come on there are a few things you can try. First, check your other lights and gauges. If you have low oil pressure or your engine is overheating, pull over, stop your vehicle and have your car repaired by a qualified auto mechanic. You can also try tightening your gas cap. If your gas cap has not been tightened to the proper number of clicks, your computer’s sensor will identify a gas leak and trigger the sensor.

Prompt Service

If none of these simple fixes causes your check engine light to turn off, take your vehicle to an auto service shop as soon as possible. A check engine light can indicate something as mundane as a loose gas cap, but also something as serious as a misfiring engine. Ignoring the light may result in extensive and expensive damage to your vehicle’s components. Having the problem repaired will likely be less expensive than the damage that could be done by ignoring it.

 

If your check engine light is on, do not go for a state emissions test until you have the problem remedied. Many state emission policies require them to fail your emissions test if your check engine light is on.

For excellent care repair in the Chicago area, call the ASE Certified professional auto mechanics at Bucaro Brothers Auto Care. At Bucaro Brothers Auto Care, we take pride in offering full service, reliable auto repair to our Chicago customers. We provide brake repair, tire service, oil changes, battery service, tune-ups and whatever car repairs you need. Call us to schedule your appointment today at (773) 570-4541.

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