How to Respond to the Check Engine Light

How to Respond to the Check Engine Light

Most drivers can relate to the spark of panic that goes through you when you see the ominous glow of the check engine light. While it can be difficult to personally diagnose engine troubles, there are things that you can do when the engine icon lights up on your dashboard.

Certified Car Care says that first, you should check for other clues like signs of overheating, high RPMs, or low oil pressure. If the RPMs are high, you should lighten the load of the car. Towing too much weight can put strain on your engine, for example. If the car is showing signs of overheating, you should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Running the heater can help prevent further overheating until you reach a safe place to stop.

Once safely stopped, you should turn off the engine, and prop up the hood to allow for maximum cooling. Do not attempt to pour water or any type of coolant over or into the engine, as it can lead to severe burns, or further damage to the engine itself.

Sometimes the check engine light is a sign that the gas cap is not fitting properly. If you see the light appear often, it could be time to replace the cap. In any case, you should have your vehicle checked by a certified mechanic to ensure that you resolve the problem completely.