Frequent question: What should I do when my check engine light comes on?

Is it safe to drive your car with the check engine light on?

The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.

When should I be worried about check engine light?

Unlike a Temperature or Oil Pressure light, a Check Engine light is usually not an urgent, “Stop right now or you may cause permanent damage!” type of situation, unless it is flashing. … If your gas cap is loose or the seal is not tight, the vapor leakage can cause your fuel system to trigger the check engine light.

Can low oil cause the check engine light to come on?

Low oil pressure: If your car is low on oil, it can cause your check engine light to go off. This is often shown in its own glowing light along with the check engine light on the dashboard.

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Can engine light come on for no reason?

The check engine light can come on for many reasons. For example, something as simple as a loose gas cap can trigger the warning. And major problems, such as failed internal engine components, can turn on the light, as well.

How long can you drive with your check engine light on?

When the check engine light is solid, you can typically drive the car for hundreds of miles without an issue. Of course, that depends on which code is stored in the vehicle’s computer. If an engine sensor is faulty, the car will usually use made up sensor values to keep running.

Why did my check engine light turn on and then off?

In a perfect world, you’ll find that a check engine light on and off intermittently is being caused by a loose gas cap. … But many times, a check engine light will be caused by something other than a loose gas cap. It can, for example, be caused by a faulty oxygen sensor.

Will check engine light reset itself?

Your vehicle’s check engine light will will reset by itself once the issue or problem has been repaired; this is true for most models. … If you are certain that you have resolved the issue that caused your check engine light to come on in the first place, then the light should reset itself after at least 20 cycles.

Where can I go to get my check engine light checked?

Solving check engine light problems

  • Take your car to a mechanic and pay a diagnostic fee. Often, the fee is waived if you agree to have the necessary service performed at that garage.
  • Bring your car to an auto parts store and have the code read for free. …
  • Buy an inexpensive scanner and read the code yourself.
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Where can I get my engine light checked for free?

But you may not realize you might be able to get that problem checked for free at AutoZone or your other local auto parts stores. Many drivers don’t realize that AutoZone, the nation’s largest auto parts chain, will do the following services free of charge: Read the codes on your check engine light.

How do you check for engine problems?

What to Do About the Check Engine Light

  1. Look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating. …
  2. Try tightening your gas cap. …
  3. Reduce speed and load. …
  4. Use built-in diagnostic services, if available.

How much does it cost to fix check engine light?

The national average repair cost linked to a car or truck’s check engine light now stands at $357, including parts ($216) and labor ($141).

How much does it cost to get engine light checked?

On average, the fee to have an auto mechanic diagnose a check engine light is $100.