We rely heavily on our vehicles for commuting to work, picking up our children from school, and errands. When the dreaded check engine light starts glowing in your car it can throw a wrench in your daily plans and leave you wondering if your vehicle is safe to drive. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about the check engine light and how to get it serviced in Fridley, MN.
What Does it Mean When Your Check Engine Light Comes On?
The check engine light, also called the malfunction indicator lamp, is a signal from the car's engine computer that something is wrong with your vehicle. But how do you know exactly how serious or what issue is causing the light to trigger?
As a rule of thumb, most vehicles have two colors for the check engine light:
Solid Yellow or Amber Symbol: Typically implies that there is a less urgent issue with your vehicle.
Flashing light or Red Symbol: Generally implies a more severe issue requiring immediate action.
As far as determining what is causing the check engine light, it’s important to remember that there may be multiple reasons it triggers. That’s why it’s never a good idea to guess the cause or postpone taking your vehicle in for repairs, regardless of what color is illuminating on your dashboard. The best way to determine why your check engine light is activated is to take your car to a professional for diagnostic work.
Most Common Reasons Check Engine Lights Trigger
Your check engine light may come on for anything from a loose gas cap to something more serious like internal engine failure. Knowing the most common reasons check engine lights trigger can provide insight into what’s happening with your vehicle.
- Engine issues that can include low oil pressure, strain on the engine or an engine misfire.
- Faulty emission components can trigger it and may involve issues with the catalytic converter, a loose or faulty gas cap or a faulty canister purge valve.
- Transmission issues that may cause the transmission to slip or delays in shifting gears.
- Faulty sensors can trigger the check engine light. For example, sensors for a loose oxygen wire, clogged mass airflow sensors or a faulty oxygen sensor can cause your check engine light to come on.
- Ignition system issues that can involve a worn ignition coil and bad or faulty spark plugs.
- Overheating, often caused by low coolant or degradation of the engine thermostat, can cause your check engine light to come on.
What to Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On
Now that you know the reason your check engine light can trigger, you may be wondering what to do if it comes on when you’re driving.
Remain calm and pay attention to how your vehicle feels when driving it. Pay attention to signs that your vehicle’s power feels weak or sluggish and any unusual noises like grinding sounds.
Slowly navigate to a trusted service center while monitoring the dashboard for low fuel or overheating indications.
If the flashing red check engine is triggered, safely pull over and stop your vehicle to prevent undue stress on the engine. Once stopped, contact a towing service to assist you with getting your car in for diagnostic services and repair.
Need Check Engine Light Repair in Fridley, MN?
Seeing the dreaded check engine light doesn't need to ruin your whole day but it also isn't something you should shrug off. Bring your vehicle in for service as soon as possible to prevent further issues with your car!
To schedule an appointment to see why your check engine light is on contact Auto Pro Auto Service at (763) 703-6172. We are located at 7901 W. River Road, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444.