Car’s Engine Light

Understanding the indications of your car’s check engine light

Car’s Engine Light

If you ever see a yellow light started illuminating on your dashboard, don’t get nervous. The majority of the car owners have little idea about what the light is trying to convey and what should be their next step. It is popularly known as one of the most misunderstood indicators on your dashboard. The check engine light indicates different things starting from a minor issue like a loose gas cap to a seriously misfiring engine. It could even try to tell that it is high time for you to pay a visit to your car dealer to get to the root of the fault.

The check engine light, also known as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp is used by the car’s computer engine to inform you about a malfunction. If you find it difficult to figure out the problem take your car to the service department of your car dealer who will rightly diagnose the problem.

Ignoring the signal might result in severe damage to your car components. The engine check light might even point out that your car is receiving poor fuel and emitting a higher level of pollutants.

What it signifies?

Since the year 1980s, computers have actively controlled and scrutinized vehicle’s performance by controlling variables like speed, ignition timing and fuel mixture. In today’s advanced cars, computers are also capable of informing automatic transmission when to shift.

When the computer finds an issue in the electronic control system which it cannot rectify, it turns on the yellow indicator labeled check engine or check Powertrain to notify the driver about it.

Additionally it stores a trouble code in its memory that recognizes the source of the problem like a malfunctioning sensor or a misfiring engine. The code can be read with the help of a professional auto repairs equipment, named electronic scan tool. Inexpensive code readers are also available for those who prefer to stick to DIY method to solve the problem.

Well, the code will only show you the problem. For proper diagnosis and solution, you need to take expert assistance. Due to the cost of diagnosis in shops, many car owners today rely on the web to find the cause and remedy. This would help in some cases but professional interference is always recommended.

Understanding the signals of the check engine light

There are many ways the yellow light tries to indicate the underlying problem to you. The light, when illuminates, it either blinks or remains constantly illuminated based on the issue. For the problems that require immediate attention, the light starts blinking, or in some cars, it becomes red instead of yellow or orange. When you notice these signs in your vehicle don’t wait, get your vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

A blinking yellow light in late model cars points towards a severe engine misfire due to which the unburned fuel is being dumped into the exhaust system, having the possibility of rapidly damaging the catalytic converter that demands an expensive repair. If you ever face anything like that try to reduce power and get it checked as soon as possible.

On the other hand if the light is stable, it means you still have time in your hand to diagnose the issue but at the same time try not to delay. The modern automotive computers sometimes try to cover up in case of an issue which makes it difficult for you to notice deterioration in performance.

Here are some tips that you can follow if you see your check engine light illuminates

  • Try to find out the problem

Check your dashboard gauges and lights to know whether it’s an indication of oil pressure or overheating. In such conditions you should pull over and turn off the engine as fast as you can. In some cars, a yellow light means find out the problem whereas the red one means to stop immediately.

  • Tightening your gas pipe

Tightening your gas pipe might help in some cases but you need to keep in your mind that this might take multiple trips before the light resets. Some vehicles also come with a separate indicator that informs the driver about a loose gas pipe.

  • Decrease load and speed

If your car engine light blinks or if you notice any specific performance deterioration, then you should reduce the speed and also the demands on the engine. Visit a a professional auto-tuning service center in North York, Toronto as soon as possible to prevent major damages.

  • Utilize inbuilt diagnostic capability

Many modern cars have integrated remote diagnostic capabilities, which can report on trouble codes and also schedule a service appointment. Some of today’s technologically advanced automakers are Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, and Volvo that support remote diagnostics.