Four Things to Know About Driving with an Illuminated Check Engine Light

December 1, 2020 11:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

No one likes to see the dreaded check engine light! As it can indicate everything from a minor gas cap malfunction to an imminent catalytic converter failure, this light gives every driver anxiety. However, you may not have the cash or time for immediate auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL, and may need to drive a little longer until you get to that next paycheck. If you face that situation, here are four things to consider when driving with a check engine light:

  • The gas cap: There are five reasons you may see the check engine light: 1) you need a new oxygen sensor, 2) your gas cap is loose, missing or broken, 3) your catalytic converter is failing, 4) you need a new mass airflow sensor and 5) you need new spark plugs or wiring. The first thing you should do when you see the light is tighten your gas cap. If that was the cause, you should see the light disappear within two ignition cycles. But if that does not solve the problem, you are likely facing a desperate situation and need to visit a mechanic soon.
  • Other lights: Sometimes you may see the check engine light with other dashboard lights, including low oil pressure or overheating. If you see this combination, stop driving right now—it is not safe for you to continue. In some car models, the check engine light may illuminate red or yellow. A red light means to stop now and get a tow truck. If you see yellow, that signals a less desperate situation, but you still need to investigate.
  • Vehicle performance: If you notice reduced performance with the check engine light, the problem is likely with your mass airflow sensor, oxygen sensor or catalytic converter. In that case, you can at least get your vehicle to safety. Reduce your speed and avoid speed surges or other enhanced demands on your car or truck. If you are towing at the time, try to unload the cargo as soon as possible. Continuing to push your vehicle can lead to other failures that can make a cheap repair, like spark plugs, turn into an expensive one. While you do not need to call a tow truck now, you must get to a mechanic as soon as possible.
  • Latest refueling: As indicated above, many drivers breathe a sigh of relief once they realize the check engine light really meant they had a loose gas cap. If you do not experience other symptoms with your car’s performance or see additional lights, consider when you last refueled. If the light appeared shortly after refueling, that should offer some reassurance.

A check engine light may mean it’s time for auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL. If you’ve eliminated the minor causes of this dashboard light, see Ice Cold Auto Repair to get to the bottom of it. We offer comprehensive auto repair services to give you peace of mind when the check engine light appears. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Categorised in:

This post was written by Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *