What Does the Check Engine Light Really Mean

The check engine light is a signal that lights up on the dashboard of a car to alert the driver that the car is in need of maintenance. The light is sometimes accompanied by a message reading, “service engine soon” and is a part of the vehicles Onboard Diagnostic System, or ODS. The light can mean a variety of things, from a loose gas cap or fuel quality issue to a spark plug or ignition defect. But how do you know if it’s a serious problem?

Check Engine Light Flashing

If you find your check engine light blinking, that means there is an immediate problem or emergency in your car. You must promptly pull over to the side of the road, turn off the engine, exit the vehicle, and then call for assistance. When your car has a check engine light flashing, it signals an engine misfire.

If you’re lucky, the engine misfire will only be the result of a simple ignition system defect. If you’re unlucky, it will be the result of an internal engine defect. Either way, seeing an ASE-certified mechanic should be the first thing you do.

Service Engine Soon

When your check engine light is on and is not blinking, it means that you need to bring your car into the shop, although it is not an emergency. Although it is not uncommon to continue driving their car until they can eventually make it into the shop, this can lead to costly repairs or even to irreversible damage to the vehicle. Because of this, we recommend getting your car into the shop within the next few days. Obviously, the sooner you can get it in, the better.

Check Your Car Manual

There are other lights that might pop up on your ODS, besides the check engine light. Most car manuals, which are typically kept in the glove box, contain guides to what each of those signs means. Cars of a newer model might have a message center somewhere on the front of the wall, which performs a similar task. This will alert the driver of the car’s specific problems. These include low oil or gas, low tire pressure, low battery, high engine temperature, and more.

Regardless of the urgency of your vehicle’s issues, you’ll need a qualified, experienced mechanic and transmission repair shop. For those in Golden, Colorado, or the Denver Metropolitan Area, AC Transmission is the place to go. For those who have a check engine light flashing, we have a 24-hour emergency repair service too! Give us a call today at (720) 730-6668 to schedule your repair!

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