What does the Check Engine light mean?

Your check engine light is part of a warning system designed to protect your engine.

When your car’s built in sensor and electronics systems find a problem that it can’t correct, the computer turns on a warning indicator on the dashboard that’s labeled “check engine,” “service engine soon” etc.

In addition to turning on the light, the computer stores a “trouble code” in its memory that identifies the source of the problem. These codes can be read with an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer, standard equipment in auto repair shops.

There are a lot of things that can trigger the check engine light. For example, anything from a loose gas cap to a faulty fuel injector can be to blame. Some other potential culprits that can cause the light to come on include:

  • An engine which is wet (possibly shorting sensors)
  • A blown gasket head
  • A bad oxygen sensor
  • Worn-out spark plugs or wires
  • Loose or cracked hoses and manifolds
  • Sticking EGR valves
  • Deteriorated fuel injector O-rings

Check to make sure your gas cap is fully on and give it a few more turns to tighten it up. If that doesn’t work, head to your local mechanic.

Even though your car could be driving just fine, your car is probably wasting fuel, putting out lots of pollution and might be damaging the engine.

If your vehicle is showing an engine light, take it to Escondido Auto Tech. The guys at EAT are used to reading these codes, so if there are problems found, they can be dealt with right on the spot. Schedule an appointment today at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454.