Do I Need to Take the Check Engine Light Seriously?

Yes, it’s important that you take your check engine light seriously. Whether you drive a car, light-duty truck, heavy-duty truck, or utility vehicle, a recent study in the United States showed that the check engine light is nearly 99 percent accurate in detecting engine problems. Consequently, if your check engine light comes on, aside from when you first start your automobile, chances are there’s a problem in the engine. Moose Jaw Truck Shop explains more below.

How the Check Engine Light Works

Today’s automobiles are filled with sensors and a main computer chip called the engine control unit or the engine control module. When you first turn on your automobile, you notice that all of your dashboard lights come on. The reason why this happens is that the sensors are checking the systems for which they are responsible and then reporting that everything is okay to the engine control module. Once the module receives the a-okay message, it turns off the related light.

Not every system in your vehicle has a dashboard warning light, however. Enter the check engine light. This light covers problems that do not have an associated dashboard warning system. For example, your engine’s temperature is reflected in the temperature gauge but you have no way of knowing whether your oxygen sensor is working properly. As such, if the oxygen sensor is malfunctioning, the engine control module will turn on the check engine light to warn you of the issue.

Other Reasons Why the Check Engine Light Comes On

A malfunctioning oxygen sensor is just one reason why the check engine light will illuminate on your dashboard. Other causes of a check engine warning include

  • A faulty catalytic converter
  • Problems with your vehicle’s electrical system
  • Problems with the sensors or the engine control module
  • A loose fuel cap or fuel system problem
  • A malfunctioning mass airflow sensor
  • Issues with your vehicle’s transmission
  • An engine vacuum leak
  • Worn or misfiring spark plugs

As you can see, the check engine light covers an array of engine problems, which is why it is important that you take this dashboard warning seriously should yours turn on.

For example, let’s assume for the moment that your check engine light came on because your vehicle is having transmission problems. If you continue to drive your automobile, you will cause additional damage to the transmission that will result in unnecessary and expensive auto repairs.

Rather, call Moose Jaw Truck Shop in Moose Jaw, SK, to schedule an appointment for vehicle service if your check engine light comes on. We’ll figure out why the light is on and fix the problem.

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