Does your car ever confuse you by randomly popping warning lights up on your dash? The most alarming one you see may be the "check engine" light, which can show up without any cause (that you can think of, anyway) and can disappear without any reason as to why.
If your check engine light keeps popping up on you, or worse, won't turn off no matter what you do, there are many issues that may be going on with your car. This light is certainly telling you that something is doing on mechanically with your vehicle, and the best way to find out exactly what's happening is to take your car to your mechanic. Until then, here are a few reasons why that check engine light won't go away.
YOUR GAS CAP IS LOOSE
A loose or ill-fitting gas cap can send that check engine light into overdrive. The reason is simple: fuel pressure is affected when the cap is not on tight enough. Simply tighten your gas cap or make sure it's actually where it's supposed to be (and not resting on the roof of your car from your last gas station stop) and see if fixing this small annoyance makes that light go away.
YOUR FILTERS ARE CLOGGED
Your check engine light will also come on if your engine isn't running as cleanly as it should. Perhaps you haven't had the air filter changed or the fuel lines are a little gunked up, causing you to emit more toxins into the air than your car should. The best thing to do is to take your vehicle to your mechanic where they can diagnose why the light is staying on. The small feel associated with the diagnosis can bring you peace of mind, especially if there is something major at fault.
YOUR SPARK PLUGS NEED REPLACING
If your spark plugs are clogged up, failing or becoming loose, your check engine light may come on and stay on. You will also likely notice your car becoming more sluggish than usual when you are driving, so you will have other warning signs than just your engine light if spark plugs are to blame. Make sure to have them checked out immediately, however, as if your spark plugs fail your catalytic converter may stop working as well.
YOUR ENGINE IS IN DANGER
A steady check engine light is usually telling you there is something minor going on with your car. What you should really be watchful for is a constant flashing engine light, which is the indicator that things are seriously wrong. A blown head gasket, overheating, radiator issues and other problems will often cause the check engine light to flash in a panicked manner as your engine is trying to tell you to get your vehicle to a mechanic right away.
If you notice your check engine light is on and doesn't go away, take your car in to have it serviced to see if replacing fluids, checking filters and replacing spark plugs solve the problem. In many cases it's best to just have your car placed on a diagnostic tool that will help accurately determine just what is happening to your car.
If you experience any smoke, grinding noises, steam or your check engine light is flashing while you are driving, pull over your car right away and consult with your mechanic for assistance. Continuing to drive your car when it is in active distress can cause further mechanical damage.
When your engine light is on inside your car, you should have the issue inspected by your mechanic as soon as you can. Allow us at EDGE Motorworks to assist you in vehicle repairs today.