You detest it, but those check engine lights are a part of the driving experience, so it’s important we know what they are, and what they mean.
If you’ve been on the road for some time, you’ve likely come across the pesky check engine light at least once (and a few times if you’ve been rather unlucky). But what are you supposed to do when it turns on? Should you stop the car immediately? Do you need a tow truck? Here are the answers to those questions that may end up saving you from paying for further damage when your check engine light comes on.
The Three Stages of the Check Engine Light
- Off – This is the stage on which we hope the light stays. This means that your car is operating within normal standards.
- On – This means that our car has a problem and we have to get it checked as soon as possible. While it’s not necessary to pull over immediately, you can likely drive it to your mechanic. However, you are risking that the problem will worsen.
- Blinking – When your check engine light is blinking, it means that you have an engine misfire and should take it to your mechanic immediately. Driving when you have a blinking light could mean some serious damage that will cost you to reach deeper into your pocket to find the funds.
Can You Fix It Yourself?
It’s possible that you can fix this issue yourself by purchasing your very own OBD II scanner. It connects to your car’s computer and is able to tell you what is causing this issue. If you know you can tackle the fixes necessary, doing it yourself will definitely save you money; it’s important, however, not to get in over your head when it comes to car repairs.