Understanding The Check Engine Light

March 28, 2018

© Gavril Margittai | Dreamstime

It goes by many names. Service engine soon, Check engine or simply check.  Others show an orange outline of what we believe is an engine.  Its official name is International Check Engine Symbol and it is the most misunderstood indicator on your dashboard. Because most of your car is a computer, various system are constantly checking the performance of your car.  When an issue appears, this "catch all" light illuminates and usually means that a trip to the mechanic is needed to decipher the reason it light up.  But there are some things you can do beforehand that might solve the problem with a trip to the repair shop.  While some cars are different, the reason the amber check engine lights may be able to be fixed by you.  Check your gas cap.  Many check engine lights illuminate if the gas cap is not closed properly.  If you are carrying a lot of weight in your car and the check engine light comes on, reduce the weight to see if it solves the problem.  If you have a fairly new car, check to see if it has integrated remote diagnostic capabilities. That's where the error message can be seen by the service center.  They may be able to assist you over the phone or schedule an appointment to repair your vehicle.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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