What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

May 2nd, 2018 by

Check Engine Light

Uh oh. An orange light just lit up on your car’s dashboard. What does the check engine light mean? Don’t panic. It doesn’t always mean a major problem, but you should pay attention and possibly get your car checked out. Lucky for you, Tom Gill Chevy in Florence has a top-notch service department, convenient to Cincinnati and Covington.

What Should You Do?

What does it mean when the check engine light comes on? Your car’s computer-based monitoring system has found a problem that it can’t fix. Don’t ignore it, and try to assess what’s happening:

  • What color is the light? Is it blinking? If it’s yellow or orange and steady, then it’s a non-emergency. You don’t have to pull over right away, but make a service appointment if it continues to appear. You can try tightening your gas cap to see if the light goes off after a few trips. If it’s red or blinking, the problem is serious. Immediately reduce power, pull over to a safe place, and contact a mechanic.
  • Are other gauges showing any problems? If there are additional lights displaying or your oil pressure and temperature gauges are in the red, pull over to a safe place as soon as you can, and contact your service provider.
  • Does your car feel like it’s driving normally? If your engine doesn’t feel like it’s operating at full power, slow down and pull over somewhere safe. If it’s running properly, you have time to schedule an appointment.

What Can a Check Engine Light Mean?

Advanced technology inside newer vehicles is constantly working in the background, monitoring your car’s performance, power, emissions, and other big variables. The check engine light is actually an international standard, and it comes on if there’s a problem the computer can’t fix. It stores a trouble code inside the computer that diagnostic tools can read, and it can indicate something minor like a loose gas cap or wire, or a major engine misfire and expensive repair. That’s why it’s so important to have your car evaluated as soon as possible. Tom Gill Chevy is here to help! Contact us today for any of your maintenance needs.

Posted in Service, Tips