Best answer: What happens if your check engine light is on?

The check engine light — more formally known as the malfunction indicator lamp — is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. … If the light begins flashing, however, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter.

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

Spark Plugs

Finally, worn spark plugs or plug wires will result in a check engine warning. Just about anything wrong with your vehicle’s ignition system will likely cause your check engine light to come on. … Stalls are another indicator of spark plug trouble.

Is it safe to drive your car with the check engine light on?

In many vehicles, there are two types of check engine lights—a solid light and a flashing light. A flashing light could mean a more serious problem like an overheating engine or engine misfire, sometimes causing irreversible damage. You shouldn’t drive further if this is the case.

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What do you do when the check engine light comes on?

What to Do About the Check Engine Light

  1. Look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating. …
  2. Try tightening your gas cap. …
  3. Reduce speed and load. …
  4. Use built-in diagnostic services, if available.

When should I be worried about check engine light?

A blinking “check engine” light, however, is cause for concern and indicates that your vehicle needs immediate attention. … Waiting too long could cause further damage to engine components, for example, damage to the catalytic converter or burning a valve within the engine, which could result in an overall loss of power.

Can low oil cause the check engine light to come on?

Low oil pressure

Low oil pressure is a common cause of a check engine light turning on, and it can seriously interfere with your car’s performance. Usually, if this is the case, your oil light will also appear. … In any case, low enough oil pressure will disable your vehicle, so get this repaired immediately.

Will check engine light reset itself?

Your vehicle’s check engine light will will reset by itself once the issue or problem has been repaired; this is true for most models. But the issue may be a bit more involved than simply resetting it. The issue may stem from your car having to run several cycles.

Can AutoZone check engine light?

Does AutoZone Scan Check Engine Lights? AutoZone does. If your light is on, and you are wondering why, head down to your local AutoZone where one of our store associates can help diagnose the issue through our free Fix Finder service.

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How long can I drive with check engine light flashing?

Flashing Check Engine Light

The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.

How many miles can you drive after your gas light comes on?

Generally speaking, you will be able to drive between 30 and 50 (0r more) miles even after the light comes on. Which means that even if the gas light comes on, it may not be time to panic yet.

How much does it cost to fix check engine light?

The costs to fix whatever’s ailing your car — and causing the light to come on — can vary greatly. Repair costs for the most common check engine light problems range from under $20 to almost $1,200, according to CarMD’s analysis of millions of repairs recommended in 2016 in the U.S.

Where can I get my check engine light checked for free?

At a local auto parts store

  • Advance Auto Parts.
  • AutoZone.
  • Napa Auto Parts.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts.
  • Pep Boys Auto Parts.
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