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What Your Check Engine Warning Could Mean

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The check engine light on your vehicle’s dashboard is there to warn you that something is going wrong. Not all mechanical problems present themselves with noise, smells, or smoke, and not all vehicle systems have dashboard warning lights. You might have a silent problem underneath the hood that could be damaging your engine and not even know it. This is when the check engine light becomes you and your car’s lifesaver. Trojan Auto Care explains further what your check engine light could mean.

Something Is Definitely Wrong or You’re Overdue for Vehicle Maintenance

Depending on your automobile’s year, make, and model, you will definitely get a warning if there is something wrong and you might also get a warning if you’re overdue for preventative maintenance. Some manufacturers engineered their vehicle systems to turn on the check engine light, a service light, or the appropriate system light when it’s time to have factory-scheduled maintenance done.

What Could Be Wrong?

If the problem isn’t overdue preventative maintenance, there are a number of vehicle systems that will turn on the check engine light when a part is going bad. Specifically

  • The electrical system will render a check engine warning if its malfunctioning
  • The exhaust system will turn on the check engine light if the catalytic converter or oxygen sensor is failing
  • The fuel system will send an error to your vehicle’s computer is the gas cap is too loose
  • The ignition system will illuminate the check engine light if the mass airflow sensor or spark plugs are malfunctioning

Hopefully, the problem is your gas cap. If you are leaving the gas station when your check engine light comes on, pull into a safe spot and check to make sure you tightened it all the way.

How Do You Determine What’s Wrong?

If your check engine light comes on, it’s best to have a diagnostic test run as soon as possible, even if your vehicle seems to be just fine. As we mentioned above, something silent could be going on, and a diagnostic test will reveal the error code that turned on the check engine light and point us in the right direction. These codes let us know what the engine trouble is, e.g. a bad oxygen sensor.

Give Trojan Auto Care a call at 937-410-3457 if your vehicle’s check engine light has come on and won’t turn off. We’re located in Troy, OH, and we’ll get to the bottom of the warning light and fix the problem.

Photo by Leonid Ensup from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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