What Does Your Car’s Check Engine Light Mean?

One minute you’re happily driving down the road, and the next, the check engine light comes on. That light can turn a fun road trip into a stressful occasion. You’re worried your car is going to break down, and you wonder if you should pull off the road and call for help immediately. Find out what your check engine light means, so you’ll know what to do if it pops on when you’re driving.

Blinking Check Engine Light

If you are driving a late model car and notice the check engine light blinking, your vehicle has likely experienced a significant engine misfire. The misfire was so massive that it caused fuel to go into the exhaust system. If you keep driving, the fuel might damage your catalytic converter. That’s an expensive repair, so you need to act swiftly.

First, reduce your speed. Then, take your vehicle to a mechanic for diagnosis and repair. It’s important to take it as soon as possible before the fuel causes severe damage.

Steady Check Engine Light

If the check engine light is steady, the problem likely isn’t as serious. First, see if the issue is due to a loose gas cap. Tighten the cap and then drive your car. You might need to drive it three or four times before the light goes off. If it does go off, the problem is fixed, and you don’t need to take it to a mechanic.

However, if the light stays on, you do need to make an appointment with a service center, although you don’t have to drive directly to the mechanic.

Check Engine With Other Lights

Sometimes, a check engine light is accompanied by other warning lights. If you see any additional warnings, such as low oil pressure, pull over and turn off your car as soon as possible. Then, call for a tow truck.

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Red and Yellow Check Engine Lights

Some cars have both red and yellow check engine lights. If your car has this feature, you need to pull over and call a tow truck immediately if it’s red. However, if it’s yellow, it could be the gas cap or another minor issue. If it’s not the gas cap, you’ll want to make an appointment with a mechanic soon.

If your car’s check engine light has come on and you can’t fix it yourself, schedule service at Hope Auto Company in Hope, Arkansas. We can diagnose and repair the issue for you.

We can also help you if you’re ready to shop for a new vehicle. Browse through our lineup of new Fords, including the Ford Escape, Edge, Expedition, and F-150. You can also check out our pre-owned offerings, including used cars under $20,000.