My check engine light is on, what should I do?

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Picture the scene, your half way home after a long day and you notice a light on your dashboard flick on. You look down to see that its the dreaded check engine light!

So what should you do?

First of all don’t panic, a constantly illuminated check engine light does NOT mean that the engine is about to go bang!  You have time to get your car to your preferred garage.

If however the light is flashing the car is notifying you of a more severe problem.  It is critical that you get it checked out as soon as possible to avoid more severe damage to the car.

To help your mechanic diagnose the problem it is useful to make a mental note of the conditions at the time the light came on. What speed were you driving? were you changing gear? where you accelerating?

So what does the check engine light mean?

When the check engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally.  It does not necessarily mean expensive repair costs, some of the most common causes for the check engine light are actually relatively easy fixes such as a loose or damaged petrol cap.

Some common causes for the check engine light are as follows

  • A wet engine
  • A blown gasket head
  • Faulty oxygen sensors
  • Worn-out spark plugs or spark plug wires
  • Loose or cracked hoses and manifolds
  • Sticky exhaust gas recirculation valves
  • Pinched or deteriorated fuel injector O-rings

Whatever you do don’t ignore the problem. Even a minor issue if left unchecked may develop into a serious problem.  If you are unsure what to do next please give us a call on 01296 432552 and one of our mechanics will be able to book you in for a diagnostic test.

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