“Oh no, the service engine light just came on!” When this little warning light illuminates while driving down the road, most drivers have a sense of fear and dread. What should they do? Can they keep driving on to work or school, or should they head straight to their auto shop? Maybe they should stop their vehicle completely and call a tow truck? By understanding why the service engine light comes on will help take away some of the fear associated with this light.
Even though you can keep driving your vehicle for a few more miles or days, take it into your auto shop as soon as possible to make sure that long-term engine damage is not taking place, leading to a costly engine repair.
The most common issue that causes the service engine light to come on is a loose, cracked or faulty gas cap that is allowing fuel to evaporate. Pull over if you can (or keep going until you arrive at your destination) and make sure your gas cap is on tight. If this was the trigger, your check engine light should go off within 10 or 20 miles later.
But, there are several other issues that can trigger the service engine light:
Damaged vacuum hose
Damaged ignition coil(s)
Failing catalytic converter
Worn out spark plugs.
Don’t panic! A check engine light rarely signals anything disastrous. It’s okay to keep driving for a few more miles or days, but the smart thing to do is get your car into your auto shop as soon as possible and ask for a diagnostic test to make sure there is not a major problem with the engine. Today’s vehicles have an onboard diagnostic system that provides a code identifying the specific issue at hand.
Wondering why does the service engine light to come on? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Rod’s Tire and Automotive for more information about engine repair and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Medina, TN, and the surrounding area.
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