Why Did My “Check Engine” Light Come On?

toyota dash

When Your Car Is Displaying Its “Check Engine” Light, Follow These Tips To Determine If Your Vehicle Has Major Engine Problems Or Just A Loose Gas Cap.

Many drivers misunderstand it, but the check engine light, or “service engine soon” message, can mean many different things. It could be a misfiring engine, a broken oxygen sensor, or simply a loose gas cap.

When you see the check engine light, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pull the car over to the side of the road and call a tow truck. It does mean you should get the car checked by a professional ASAP. Ignoring this warning could end up causing further damage.

When the check engine light is illuminated on your dash board, it’s time to schedule a service appointment. Luckily for you, the High Country Toyota Service Department staffs factory-trained mechanics who can easily check and diagnose your check engine light message; better yet, we’ll do it without running you up a huge bill!

When your check engine light comes on, don’t panic. Remember:

  • Most likely, it doesn’t mean there’s a major problem with your car. It’s possible that a check engine warning could be triggered by something bad like low oil pressure or your engine overheating, those – any many other – extreme issues are usually accompanied by other lights to indicate a serious problem.
  • You should read your owner’s manual to learn about the different reasons why your check engine light could be on. Your car’s manual will also give you a tour of the other gauge and warning indicators on your dashboard.
  • If your check engine light is on, the first thing to do is look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Check your other dashboard gauges and warning lights for indications of overheating or low oil pressure. These conditions mean you should pull over and shut off the engine as soon as you can find a safe place to do so. Some vehicles have two stages to their check engine warning: a yellow light means investigate the problem, while a red light means pull over immediately, refer to your manual to see if your car uses this system.
  • If your car is not in serious peril, try tightening your gas cap. This often solves the problem. Keep in mind that you may have to start, drive, and turn your car off several times before the light resets. Some vehicles have an indicator that warns of a loose gas cap before the issue illuminates the check engine light.
  • Reduce your speed and, if possible, the weight you’re carrying in your car. If the check engine light is blinking or you notice any serious performance problems, such as a loss of power, reduce your speed and try to reduce the load on the engine. If you usually tow a trailer behind your car, you may want to try driving around without it if possible. Have the car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible to prevent expensive damage.

    Whether there’s smoke billowing from under your hood or not, you should definitely have the check engine code read by a professional auto technician ASAP, if there’s a problem, get it fixed to keep your car in fighting shape. Come down to High Country Toyota is Scottsboro, AL and have our helpful team of service experts sort out your check engine light warning.

If your check engine light is on and you’re in need of a diagnosis, contact our service department for a fast and affordable solution.