What is Your “Check Engine” Light Telling You?

Are you someone who ignores the “check engine” light until something goes wrong? Or, do you wait until your next scheduled service to ask about it? Maybe you’re the type of person who panics as soon as it comes on and immediately schedules a service appointment?

No matter how you react to your check engine light, there’s always a level of uncertainty that comes with it. No one really ever knows exactly what’s causing that little amber light to click on! It’s not until you take it into your auto shop in Rainier, WA and they run some tests are they able to give you a definitive reason for why it’s on.

This is a process called “running diagnostics.” Essentially, your vehicle is run by a computer. By hooking it up to another computer and running a check for errors, mechanics are able to figure out precisely what’s causing your vehicle to alert you. Usually, it’s in the form of an error code, which still needs to be deciphered to read into the true nature of the issue.

In some cases, your check engine light might be alerting you to an oxygen imbalance in your exhaust system. This is a relatively minor problem that may lead to engine inefficiency. In other cases, it could be telling you that your engine timing is off, which can lead to engine failure over time. The check engine light is a mixed bag! All the more reason to have a professional inspect it right away, to help clear the error and fix your vehicle.

The next time you’re staring at an amber light telling you to check your engine, don’t ignore it! Instead, roll into your local auto shop in Rainier, WA and have a professional get to the bottom of the mystery with some insightful automotive diagnostics.

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