Maintaining Your Car and Keeping the Environment Safe

Why You Should Take the “Check Engine” Light Seriously?

Within the on board diagnostic (OBD) system of your vehicle, one of the most important warning lights and indications is the “Check Engine” light. When this light flashes in most vehicles, the owner of the vehicle will ignore it in the same way that they ignore the warning light that lets them know that their vehicle is currently running low on gas. We hope with this car repair and you article to help you in your decision making. Visit smog Roseville CA

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They may figure that if something was really wrong with the engine, the vehicle would not be able to run at all so they will just wait until it stops running before they start to worry about the light. Many people do not take the “Check Engine” light seriously, because they do not know the true value of this signal or understand exactly what has to take place within your vehicle in order for the “Check Engine” light to shine in the first place. Get a smog test while you’re at it.

Do I need a Smog Check?

Most vehicles today are basically run by computers that monitor and control the overall performance of the vehicle itself, including the regulation of such factors as fuel mixture, engine speed and ignition timing. It is even able to give automatic transmissions the signal that they need to know when to shift since this is not something that the actual driver would have to worry about in these particular vehicles.

Consistent car maintenance ensures a great running auto.

As soon as the computer locates a problem that is cannot easily fix or adjust on its own, this is the moment when the “Check Engine” light will become activated. This yellow light serves as a warning signal and will problem a specific trouble code into its memory. These trouble codes make it easy for mechanics and automobile technicians to identify the actual source of the problem so that they can provide an expert recommendation that will allow them to properly address the issue.

What Causes the Check Engine Light to Activate?

Once the “Check Engine” light comes on, many drivers may ask themselves the simple question “What should I do now?”  It is important to remember that the light is not just going to go away. It is either going to blink or remain steady, but it will stay in place until the problem has been properly resolved. Therefore, one of the best things that you can do at this point is to take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic in order for them to properly diagnose what caused the light to come on in the first place.

Is It An Emergency?

How do you know if it is an urgent emergency or not? In most vehicles, the “Check Engine” light is the perfect tool that will let you know. For example, if the light remains steady and does not blink at all, this is usually a sign that whatever is causing the light to come on in the first place is not necessarily an emergency. However, this does not mean that it is something that should be swept up under the rug. You still need to make plans and schedule an appointment for your vehicle to be seen and diagnosed by a qualified, expert technician.

On the other hand, if the “Check Engine” light is blinking constantly, this needs to be viewed as an emergency 911 call that is being sent to you directly from your vehicle’s computer. In these extreme cases, there is more than likely a serious engine misfire that is causing unburned fuel to be dumped in substantial amounts within the exhaust system. Within a rather short period of time, the temperature of your vehicle’s catalytic converter will rise to an extent where it will be permanently damaged. If you notice that your “Check Engine” light is blinking, the best thing that you can do for your vehicle at that particular time is to reduce the amount of power that is being consumed and take it to a technician immediately.

What You Need to Do

As soon as the “Check Engine” light has come on, there are several steps that you can follow even before you have your appointment with a qualified technician. Make sure that you check for any other warning lights and gauges within your dashboard that may point to corresponding problems. For example, your engine may currently be overheating or have a low level of oil pressure, which are both things that you can easily identify just by looking at your dashboard. The next step is to make sure that your gas cap is tightened.

In more cases than you might think, the reason for the “Check Engine” light flashing is because the gas cap is not secured tightly. As mentioned earlier, if the light is blinking, this should be viewed as an urgent emergency that requires quick thinking and even quicker action on your part. Reduce the driving speed of your vehicle immediately and look for ways to effectively reduce the weight within the car. Following these two steps will minimize the burden and strain that is currently weighing down your engine since it is clearly not strong enough to handle it at that time.

The Final Step

Make sure that you have the problem diagnosed as soon as possible. The technician will be able to diagnose the trouble code for you. There are even some automobile parts companies in the local area that may have the equipment and tools necessary to interpret this code for you. This is the first step towards getting rid of that light the right way and keeping your car or truck healthy and performing well for many more miles. Car repair doesn’t have to be a mystery!