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What to Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

Last updated 4 years ago

A check engine light is your car’s way of alerting you that it needs to be repaired immediately. If you see the check engine light glowing, go to a car repair shop in no more than a few days. Read this article to learn more about the proper steps to take if the check engine light comes on.

Learn About Your Car’s Dashboard Lights and Gauges

Knowing more about your car’s built-in sensors will help you determine the nature of the problem. Some cars have warning lights just for brake problems or engine oil issues, while others just have a check engine light. Read your car’s owners manual for more information.

Determine the Severity of the Problem

On many cars a blinking check engine light, or a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates that there is a serious problem that needs to be checked out immediately. For instance, a blinking light can mean that there was an engine misfire that has caused unburned fuel to dump into the exhaust system. If your vehicle’s check engine light is flashing, reduce power and visit a car repair shop immediately. To prevent a serious problem, turn off your vehicle and have it towed to a car repair shop of your choice.

Diagnose the Source of the Problem

Take your vehicle to a professional auto repair shop and ask them to use a scan tool. This device will scan the vehicle’s on-board computer to find out what is causing the check engine light to illuminate. Do not get a state emissions test until you visit a car repair shop. A glowing check engine light is a surefire sign that you will not pass the test.

For more information about what an illuminated check engine light means, contact Dekalb Tire. With locations in the Smyrna and Buckhead areas, we have offered a variety of vehicle maintenance and repair services since 1965. Give us a call at (404) 334-9531 or visit our website to find out more about what our family-owned auto repair shop has to offer you.


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