What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

Check Engine Light

Nearly every driver on the road today has seen that dreaded orange light in the corner of their eye, but just what does the check engine light mean for you and your wallet? The answer is not so simple. While the culprit could be a costly component, like the catalytic converter, sometimes a quick replacement of a minor part is all you need to get your car back to normal. And in fact, occasionally the light will turn on for no reason at all. Want to know how to diagnose and relieve your car issues? The service department at Elgin Hyundai is here to help!

Why Do I Have a Check Engine Light?

The check engine light was created as an easy way to signal car troubles to the driver. Starting in the late 1990s, every vehicle featured a standardized list of diagnostic trouble codes. This allowed technicians to work more accurately, scanning the check engine light of any make and model to find the issue immediately.

Do I Need to Get My Car Inspected if the Light is On?

It's important to find the root cause of your car's troubles if your check engine light comes on. Generally, your light will flip on and remain on until the issue is resolved. Researchers estimate that up to 10 percent of all cars on the road today have an active check engine light, but refuse service for fear of costly repairs! If your light is flashing, then it is even more crucial to get to the shop. A flashing light indicates an urgent problem that must be remedied immediately.

Why Does the Check Engine Light Activate?

There are many reasons why your check engine light may be on. Some DIY drivers invest in code-readers, which can diagnose the problem and estimate the costs of a repair. Because the diagnostic trouble codes are standardized, any code-reader should point you in the right direction. Here are some of the most common reasons that cars signal for help:

  • Loose gas cap
  • Emissions system malfunction
  • Catalytic converter problems
  • Spark plug wire issues

Where Can I Go for Help?

The check engine light may seem intimidating, but it's important to get problems checked out early to avoid bigger headaches down the line. Elgin Hyundai would be happy to help you with any car issues, so you can get back on the road with confidence. Schedule an appointment online with our service department today!

Categories: Service


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