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What To Do When Your Check Engine Light Is On

Is a check engine light turning on an emergency? This warning light can point to some serious engine and transmission problems, so it’s not a warning that should be completely ignored. There are, however, many maintenance issues that turn on this light that doesn’t require you to pull off the road and immediately repair them. Explore the most common issues, what to do if this light turns on and what size windshield wipers do I need.

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

The first thing you should check is the color and lighting of your check engine light. A blinking light or a solid red light usually means that you have an emergency maintenance issue. A solid yellow or orange light may still leave cause for concern, but it could also be caused by a maintenance issue that isn’t an emergency.

There are a few other warning signs to watch out for that may point to an emergency. Here are some common reasons that you should pull off the road as soon as it is safe to do so:

  • Smoke emitting from your engine compartment
  • Loud grinding, squealing or banging sounds
  • Engine performance issues
  • High oil temperature
  • Reduced braking efficiency

Don’t attempt to continue your commute if your engine is overheating or your brakes are failing. Engine, brake, and transmission issues could quickly escalate, so consider pulling to the side of the road or stopping by an auto maintenance location to answer, “why is my check engine light on?”

Most Common Issues Most Cars Have When Their Check Engine Light Turns on

For most vehicles, the most common reasons for a check engine light are not serious enough to immediately stop your vehicle and pull off the road. Always use care when driving with this warning on, because it’s difficult to determine the seriousness of it without using an OBD-II error code scanner.

One common issue is a damaged sensor. The mass airflow sensor and oxygen sensor are linked with the engine control unit in your vehicle. The mass airflow sensor measures air entering your engine, while an oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen traveling through the exhaust system. Your vehicle can still typically operate normally without one or both of these sensors working properly, but you may experience reduced fuel economy, horsepower, and smooth engine performance.

An air leak in your fuel system can also cause your check engine light to turn on. Thankfully,, the most common leak is simply a loose or missing gas cap. Check your cap so see that it has a secure fit for one of the easiest car repair tasks.

Another easy repair task is replacing your wiper blades. While worn-out wipers may not turn on your check engine light, they can become a safety issue. Stop by your local auto parts store to find the exact wiper blade size based on the make and model of your vehicle. Ask about a check engine light issue or other easy maintenance tasks to keep your car operating efficiently and safely.

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