It can be understandably frightening to be driving along the road and suddenly notice your check engine light is on. However, you do not necessarily need to panic—in fact, the check engine light in Madison, TN could very well be the most misunderstood indicator that can light up on your dashboard. There are a wide variety of issues that could cause it to light up, many of which are quite minor.
There’s a common misunderstanding that you should pull your vehicle to the side of the road and call for service if you see the indicator light up, but this simply isn’t true. All it means is that, as soon as you’re able, you should get the car checked out. The longer you ignore the warning, the more likely something is to go wrong with your vehicle.
When the check engine light comes on, it will either stay on constantly or will start to blink. A blinking light (which may light up as red instead of orange or yellow) will indicate you need to get immediate attention for the vehicle. A light that just stays illuminated is not indicative of an emergency, but it would still be a good idea to schedule a service appointment as soon as you can.
With all of this in mind, what should you do if your check engine light comes on? Here are a few tips:
- Determine if there’s a serious problem: Your first step should be to look for the signs of any potential serious issue that could require you to get immediate attention for your vehicle. Check all the other gauges and lights on your vehicle to determine if your engine is overheating or if there are any signs of low oil pressure. If so, then you will need to pull over and shut off your vehicle as soon as possible.
- Tighten the gas cap: Sometimes the check engine light comes on just because the gas cap is a little loose. Tightening it could very well resolve the problem, though it may take a little while before the light resets. If your vehicle has a separate indicator that tells you the gas cap is loose, then this probably won’t be the issue.
- Use other diagnostic services: Lots of today’s vehicles have integrated diagnostic capabilities, providing more in-depth reports on problem codes. Many automakers support remote diagnostic capabilities and the ability to easily schedule a service appointment when certain codes arise.
- Adjust your driving or vehicle: If the check engine light comes on or you start to notice some issues with your vehicle’s performance, such as a sudden reduction in power, you might consider reducing your speed or trying to reduce the weight of the vehicle. If you’re towing a trailer, try driving without the trailer to see if that helps. You might also remove other loads in the vehicle. Regardless, you should still have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic.
For more information about what to do about an illuminated check engine light in Madison, TN, contact Madison Muffler & Auto Repair today.