Why Is My Car’s Check Engine Light On?

If your check engine light turns on and starts to flash, pull over immediately and cut the engine. A flashing CEL is a sign that there is a serious problem with the engine. If the check engine light turns on and glows steadily, there is still a problem that needs immediate attention. We recommend that you drive straight to our shop so we can run a diagnostic test to determine the reason for the check engine warning.

Main Computer Chip

Your vehicle has a main computer chip that is called the engine control unit or the ECU. This unit communicates constantly with sensors that are located throughout your automobile while the engine is running. You have sensors in every system, including the brake system. These sensors send the ECU data to confirm that everything within the system is operating as it should.

When something goes wrong, the engine control unit will try to resolve the problem on its own. If it can, it will not turn on a dashboard warning light. Rather, it will simply fix the problem. If the problem is beyond the engine control unit’s scope, it will turn on a dashboard warning light to alert you of trouble. If the problem does not have its own warning light, the unit will turn on the check engine light.

Diagnostic Test

When you bring your vehicle to our shop, we will attach your engine control unit two a diagnostic testing machine. This machine goes into the engine control unit’s memory banks and downloads all of the data. This data includes error codes sent to the unit by the system sensors. We use these error codes to diagnose the specific problem with your automobile.

Test Results

The test results will point us in the exact direction that we need to be. For example, the error code may say that your oxygen sensor has died or that you have a problem in the transmission. The resulting error code may also report an issue with the catalytic converter. The check engine light will also turn on if there’s a problem with the spark plugs or the fuel system.

We rely on these test results to save us time when it comes to diagnosing your vehicle’s problem. The reason why we want to save time is it saves you money and gets you back on the road more quickly. As such, give us a call today to schedule a service appointment for your vehicle if the check engine light is on.

Photo by matsou from Getty Images via Canva Pro

Accessibility Toolbar