What is a check engine light

Check Engine Light On?

There are some things all drivers should know whether they are newly licensed or highly experienced. If you must ask what a check engine light means, it’s time to keep reading. Our auto repair experts here at Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs have just the information you need.

Luckily for us, all modern cars are built with an on-board diagnostic system or OBD. In fact, the OBD and check engine light are now a federal requirement on all vehicles to regulate vehicle emissions. This key component is basically a built-in computer that your car uses to recognize and automatically regulate the electronically controlled parts of your engine and car. Most of the time, you will not even be aware that your OBD is silently adjusting your catalytic converter, ignition, fuel mixture or other variables.

Only when a problem occurs and cannot be resolved by your car’s OBD will you see one of the warning lights illuminate on your dashboard. When a component of your engine is experiencing a problem that needs the attention of a qualified technician, the OBD will store a trouble code and turn on a dashboard light to get your attention. This is when the issue becomes your responsibility.

If the light remains steady, it is not necessarily an emergency, but you should get the issue inspected by a professional as soon as possible. It is likely that your fuel mileage has become inefficient or that you are emitting unburnt hydrocarbons. To minimize damage to your car’s engine and your production of pollutants, make an appointment to see a certified technician as soon as possible.

If your check engine light is on and blinking, this means there is an urgent problem, usually an engine misfire. If ignored, this can quickly result in unburnt fuel in your exhaust and your catalytic converter overheating with the potential of permanent damage.

When you see that your check engine light blinking, you should pull over as soon as you can. Check your dashboard for other warning lights, including temperature and oil pressure gauge. Any combination of these lights means you should shut off your engine. If the problem is not evident and there are no other warning lights, you can attempt to get your vehicle to a mechanic. Reduce your speed and the load on your vehicle if it is carrying or towing anything. This will minimize any damage that occurs before you can get to a professional for an evaluation and repairs.

Now that you know what does a check engine light mean, just remember that it’s not a service reminder and should not be ignored. If the light comes on, bring your car to Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs where a qualified technician will perform a series of tests on your vehicle’s circuits in a particular sequence to identify the issue. Once we find the problem, we’ll provide the expert fixes you need to avoid damaging your engine and creating the need for more expensive repair work.

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