What To Do If The Check Engine Light Comes On

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If you notice the check engine light come on in your car, don’t panic – it may just be a temporary problem. You can use this blog post to determine what’s wrong with your vehicle and what to do next!

Some vehicle models and even automakers have different warning lights that indicate the extent of problems.

The vehicle check engine light either blinks or remains constant.
A steady glow may not warrant an emergency but may be an indication that your vehicle needs immediate inspection.

On the other hand, a blinking check engine is a more significant cause of concern and indicates a big engine misfire that allows unburned fuel to bump into the exhaust system. It may mean that the vehicle needs immediate attention from a trained professional rather than inspection.
Either way, the two scenarios could escalate into more significant problems like damaging your catalytic converter or burn valves within the engine.


Pull Over

The safest thing to do is pull over as soon as it is safe and convenient to do so; this will allow you to assess the situation and determine how safe it is to continue with your onward journey.

Check your gauge on the dashboard to have a rough idea of the problem-whether your vehicle is experiencing low pressure, or the engine is overheating. While the problems could be as minor as a loose gas cap, you must find a safe place, pull over and double-check. Here are the most prevalent things that may cause the check engine light to come on;

  • Missing, loose, or damaged gas cap
  • Failing O2 sensors
  • Ignition, wiring, or spark plug problems
  • Failing catalytic converter.

Perform A DIY Fix-Up

Try checking your gas cap and tighten it or replace it. Modern gas caps have special seals that form part of the vacuum fuel systems. Most of the time, a broken or misplace rubber seal –from the gas cap- could trigger the check engine light to come on.
If the light is blinking it may signify severe performance issues like loss of power, slow down and minimize the demand on your engine. For instance, it would do you good to avoid towing a trailer or transporting heavy goods.


Use Built-In Diagnostic Procedures

Built-in diagnostics services are not available to all, but most modern vehicles come with remote diagnostic capabilities which can give feedback on trouble codes and book service appointments. The most common automakers with these services include Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, and Volvo- check if your car supports this and capitalize on it next time you are in trouble.


Local mechanics such as General Muffler will read and interpret the generated code for you. Nevertheless, unless you can find an easy solution to the issue, you should have your car diagnosed by a certified service technician to properly determine the root of the problems and find an amicable solution.


This is where the codes come into play: they will only tell you the circuits or systems to test but not the solution. Plus, only professionals can interpret the terms and make prescriptions accordingly.

If the check engine light persists even after doing the above issues, bring your in and let us diagnose and repair it. We have the knowledge, technology, and experience to get back to a safe and reliable experience on the road. Call: (203) 735-6406 or visit 670 Main St. Ansonia, CT 06401.

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