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Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

What happens when your Check Engine Light comes on?

Imagine you’re driving your vehicle down the road in Martinez, CA and your check engine light turns on. What do you do? You probably have an initial reaction of fear, combined with anger and panic. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?! But as you keep driving (yes, we know you keep driving) you don’t notice any changes in the way your vehicle is driving, and this allows you to calm down. All-to-soon that initial panic is forgotten, and even though your check engine light is still lit, you self-diagnose the light itself as being broken, and not your automobile. Sound familiar?

At The Car Doctor, we hear this story quite often, usually when people are bringing in their cars that have broken down on the side of the road because they ignored this dashboard warning. So our expert mechanics thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on this mysterious car part.

Check Engine Light

Marlie Benton
What does the check engine light in my car do?

Your vehicle’s check engine light is a warning. It is connected to your vehicle’s computer system, which controls a number of different things in your cars, such as your engine, emissions, fuel system and more. When something is wrong – or is about to be wrong – with one of these systems, the check engine light turns on letting you know. At this point, you should take your car to The Car Doctor for check engine light diagnostics in Martinez, CA.

Can I drive with my check engine light on?

Sometimes you can, but you really shouldn’t. We can’t stress this enough! Like we said before, this is a warning light. The more you drive around with it on, the more damage you are doing to your automobile. In many cases, if you take your car in right away the issue can be fixed much more quickly and easily than if you wait and keep driving. Bringing your vehicle in sooner can also save you money if your mechanic can catch the issue before it becomes a full-blown repair.


What causes this light to turn on?

There are too many possible car issues that could cause your check engine light to turn on to even list here. But a few of the more common car problems are:

  • A loose gas cap
  • A blown gasket head
  • Faulty oxygen sensors
  • Worn out spark plugs
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