The check engine light that comes on the dashboard when you start the car with all other lights is how it should be, but if it stays on even after a long time, it is then sending you a warning message. You must be knowing that well, that the check engine light is considered a signal that there is an issue in the vehicle’s ignition, fuel, emissions, or exhaust systems.

But there can be some more reasons why the onboard diagnostics system (or OBD II) switches on the light on your dashboard, says an experienced mechanic who attends the Spokane Valley check engine light issues. Check out if you knew these reasons too.

What Might “Turn On” the Light

According to the said expert, there are a variety of reasons that can turn on the “check engine” light.  The reason can be something as simple as a faulty oxygen sensor, a damaged spark plug, a loose gas cap or it can also be something serious like major engine problems, a faulty catalytic converter, low engine oil or coolant and so on. But unless the onboard diagnostics system sends you some additional message with more specific details, you don’t know what exactly it could be. So, you can’t simply afford to ignore it under any circumstances.

Interpreting the Signal

The check engine light usually appears either in a yellow or orange color with the icon showing the outline of an engine, with the word “Check” or “Service Engine” lit up in the same color. When your car is doing fine, the light is supposed to come on for a few seconds with other warning lights, each time you start the engine. But if it stays on, starts flashing or blinking rather than staying simply illuminated, then it is an indication of a serious problem that needs an urgent addressal.

He continued that since many of the causes of an illuminated check engine light are found to be simple and easy to fix, people might misinterpret the warning and continue to drive with the same, but if you have the right interpretation of the way the light behaves, then you are already on a safer plane.

Still but Illuminated

If the engine light stays illuminated but isn’t till now blinking or flashing, you can take a few steps to address the issue before rushing to an auto repair shop or calling the mechanic and see if the light disappears after keying the engine. If required replace the worn gas cap to resolve the issue.

Flashing and Blinking

When the check engine light starts flashing or blinking, it usually indicates the event of a misfire or any other serious issue related to the engine that requires an immediate repair job. If you ignore a flashing light you will invariably increase the level of problems, to something really big that will boomerang you with an expensive bill. Hence, if your engine light has started blinking or flashing, do not postpone your visit to the mechanic or your auto repair shop or to a place like the Spokane Valley check engine light department.