What does a check engine light mean?

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What does a check engine light mean?

The check engine light is frustrating and confusing. The check engine light comes on without warning or information to help you understand what is going on with your vehicle.

As part of your on-board diagnostic system or OBD, the check engine light may come on for several reasons. The computer in your car monitors your car’s performance regulating fuel mixture, ignition timing, engine and other electronic functions. When the computer finds a problem within the system that it cannot fix it turns on an indicator or check engine light to let you know there is a problem. Federal law now requires manufacturers to install more sophisticated systems that also monitor emissions.

If the light is illuminated, it may blink or remain lit depending on what type of problem you have. If you see a steady light, the problem is not severe. You should, however, schedule an appointment with the certified technician as soon as possible. Dakota Ridge Auto has the certified professionals you need to assess your check engine light issues.
A blinking light, on the other hand, usually means a severe problem exists. The engine may be misfiring, and fuel is entering the exhaust system causing the temperature of the catalytic converter to rise resulting in damage and an expensive repair. The computer’s in today’s vehicles are extremely technical. When it suspects a problem, it will try to overcome the issue, and you may not notice the lack of performance. If you see this type of light, you should pull over and call for assistance.

If the check engine light comes on it’s important to look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. There are also several things you should also test the gas cap. Sometimes simply tightening the gas cap can reset the check engine light. Also, if the check engine light is blinking, and you notice our vehicle has lost power, it’s important to reduce your speed to reduce the load on your engine.

When a check engine light comes on, it’s important to consult a professional and not try to diagnose the problem yourself. They will take the time to test carefully to find the root of the problem. The tests are technical evaluations of numbered codes which have to be done in sequence to provide the most accurate results.

The most important thing to remember is never to ignore your check engine light. It could mean a serious problem. Every car owner gets a pit in their stomach when this light comes on because it could mean costly repairs. Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton offers cost-effective diagnosis and repairs for all cars, trucks and SUVs.

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