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check engine light

Everyone has experienced driving along, and suddenly their engine light comes on. Many people wonder what the light means and what they should do when it appears. If you are like most car owners, our Jiffy Lube team has some information that will help shed some light on the situation.

The check engine light may mean a host of different things, from an engine problem to gas caps being loose. Only an engine diagnostic service can tell. When the light comes on, it doesn’t mean you must stop all operations. It only means you should get your vehicle looked at as quickly as possible. The longer you tool around with that check engine light near me, the more likely you will experience a large, expensive problem.

What Does It Mean?

More cars started being controlled by computers, beginning in the 1980s. This check engine light near me is part of an onboard system of diagnostics. They regulate things like fuel mixture, ignition timing, and engine speed. In newer models, they tell the car when to shift and even to turn off and on.

When there is a problem that it can’t self-correct, the computer turns on a yellow check engine light near me. This may have a picture or a couple of words such as ‘check engine’ or ‘service vehicle.’ This is your auto’s way of telling you that you need to run an engine diagnostic service.

In addition to the light, the computer stores a code to help identify the source of trouble. There are tools for reading the codes that are standard in garages. There are also code readers for those who perform repairs at home. These readers and the codes are a crucial part of any engine diagnostic service.

The codes point you to the trouble area but require a professional to diagnose and fix the problem. Most shops charge for getting the diagnosis and charging to repair the problem that caused the check engine light near me.

What’s Next?

When the light comes on, it either blinks or is consistent, depending on the problem. Blinking or, in some models, red lights mean the trouble needs immediate help. Regardless, it is important to get the engine looked into right away.

For older cars, blinking lights often mean the engine isn’t firing correctly, and the catalytic converter may break down. In this case, you must have the car looked at as soon as possible and should discontinue driving.

Steady lights don’t mean emergencies, but you should still have the vehicle looked at quickly. Those that leave the check engine light near me and continue driving are potentially hurting their pocketbook as the vehicle incurs more damage the longer you drive it.

Tips for When the Light Comes On

Once the light has turned on, there are a couple of things you should do to troubleshoot before having an engine diagnostic service.

Check for big problems. Look over gauges and the dash to see if your vehicle is getting too hot or losing pressure. These issues mean it is time to pull over as soon as it’s safe. Tighten your gas cap. If you were driving fast or carrying extra weight in your car, stop. This will lower the strain.

Bring Your Car to Jiffy Lube

Let Jiffy Lube technicians perform engine diagnostic service and repair your auto. With our help, you’ll be back on the road in no time.