What Should You Do If You See A Check Engine Light?


There’s no doubt that seeing a check engine light can be one of the most nerve-wracking things you can experience when you’re driving, and much of this is due to people having no idea about what could be the cause. Basically, the check engine light works by turning on when a vehicle’s car emissions go above a certain limit for a certain period of time, but this can occur for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from extremely simple to very complex and dangerous. In this article, we take a look at a few reasons why your check engine light might come on and what you can do to remedy it.

Working out what a check engine light may be

It’s safe to say that your local mechanic in Armadale will encourage you to bring your car in as soon as the check engine light starts flashing, and there’s usually a good reason for this – although some people may have anecdotally told you about times when the check engine light came on when they hadn’t tightened a lid on something (or something similar), a check engine light can be a wide variety of things. This might be because your check engine light might be related to something serious like a severe vehicle misfire problem (which is indicated by a flashing check engine light), and such an occasion would warrant you stop your car immediately and have a mechanic diagnose the issue as quickly as possible. In the event that the check engine light is staying on consistently, this will usually indicate a less serious problem than a blinking or flashing would suggest, but that doesn’t mean that caution should be thrown to the wind. If you find that the light is steady, you can usually keep driving your vehicle but you should see a mechanic as quickly as possible to find out what the potential issue (or issues) may be.

Common causes of the check engine light

The check engine light coming on could come on for any number of reasons, but some are more common than others. One of these more common causes is a faulty oxygen sensor, as a fault in this sensor will create an imbalanced fuel and air mixture in the exhaust, which can actually damage the catalytic converter once it makes contact. Another common issue is related t faulty spark plugs or electrical wires, as these not performing ideally could result in misfires or problematic sparks. Another thing that can cause issues with air and fuel is the mass air flow sensor, as this not performing properly can affect the air, fuel and spark in the engine. A more serious issue may take the form of a misfire, where the incorrect combination of air, fuel or spark being set off causes serious damage to the engine if incorrectly managed.

How the mechanic manages the issue

Mechanics can address a check engine light in several ways, with one of the most common involving a mechanic plugging a device into your car referred to as a scantool. This scantool is used to diagnose the car by checking all of the codes that relate to issues, and through carefully analysing this the mechanic will be able to see exactly where the issue has occurred and rectify it as necessary.