You’re driving along one morning, and everything about your drive seems perfectly normal. You don’t notice any weird sounds (or at least, no new sounds), you just filled your tank with gas last night, Your fluids were checked and topped off recently, and it wasn’t even that cold out last night! Your car started with no problems at all, and suddenly, your Check Engine Light comes on!
If you’re anything like me, your brain probably goes into panic mode. The engine, that’s quite an important component of a car, right? And, if I’m not mistaken, an engine can be pretty expensive! What do I do?!
Calm down, quit worrying, here’s what you do:
1. Have you recently purchased gas for your vehicle? If so, check to see that the gas cap and cover is completely shut (i.e. one click). If it wasn’t when you checked, that’s most likely what caused the Check Engine Light to come on. Unfortunately, you will still have to take your vehicle in to a mechanic to get the light turned off, but otherwise, you’re good to go once you tighten your gas cap and cover.
2. If a loose gas cap is not the case, listen for any strange noises or vibrations. If you hear a rattling, clinking, grinding, whirring, screeching, squeaking, hissing, or otherwise alarming sound coming from your vehicle that wasn’t there a week ago, take your vehicle in to your mechanic right away! If a sound or vibration develops and is closely followed by your Check Engine Light coming on, chances are, the two things are related. Most mechanics will be able to look at your vehicle quickly, and at the very least tell you if it is safe to continue driving your vehicle.
3. If your gas cap isn’t loose, and you don’t hear any sounds or feel any strange vibrations, you are probably safe to keep driving for the time being, though it would be best to stop in at your mechanic for a service appointment in the next few days. They can have a look to see what caused the light to come on.
If your check engine light is flashing, pull over immediately and do not continue to drive. Call your mechanic and arrange for your vehicle to be brought to the mechanic.
The bottom line is, if you are at all concerned that there may be something wrong with your vehicle, it is recommended that you take your vehicle in to be looked at, but the Check Engine Light does not necessarily mean that your vehicle is going to explode any moment. It’ll tell you that something is happening with your vehicle, but it will not tell you how severe that something is.
If you’re not sure, just give us a call at 204-338-7985 and ask for the service department. Our service advisors can give you a more detailed and educated answer about what to do by asking some questions about how your car is running.