Bright Lights Big City-Tips For When Your Engine Light Is On

engine light

It’s always a bit of a gut punch when your check engine light glows demon-like from your dash. You have thoughts like “what could it be?” “how much is this going to cost?” “can I make it to the mechanic?” Well, we understand how stressful that can be. So we wanted to talk about what it can mean if your check engine light ever comes on. 

First off, it’s important to note whether the light is blinking or steady. If it’s blinking that means the problem is an emergency. In which case you should slow down, find a safe place to park and have a mechanic run a diagnostic right away. If the light is steady it’s not an emergency, yet you should still request an appointment at a shop asap. 


Once you determine whether it’s an emergency or not, here are a few common reasons a check engine light might come on. Some are easier to detect and others are not, but this way you can be prepared for whatever might be the issue.



Your catalytic converter is responsible for converting your car’s exhaust into less harmful gases. If this is broken or faulty you’ll see a darker gas coming out of your exhaust or a loud, unusual sound when your car is running.



Sometimes the metals in the oxygen sensor deteriorate to the point where they can no longer give an accurate reading to the onboard computer. If your car is not getting accurate readings from this sensor it can cause damage to multiple parts of your exhaust system. 



The mass air flow sensor is a very small piece in the engine, but is essential in regulating the amount of fuel needed based on the air coming in through the engine. If this is broken your car may stall and your gas mileage will drop.



Your gas cap is probably the first thing that you should check when your check engine light comes on. Having a good seal on your gas cap is essential for your entire fuel system. There’s a chance this could just be loose and you need to tighten it, or it could be broken, in which case you’ll need to have that fixed. 



Spark plugs are essential for the combustion in your engine. If these are broken, the fuel and air mixture in your engine can’t ignite. You might notice your car won’t accelerate when you hit the gas, or your gas mileage might decline quickly. 


Don’t procrastinate getting your car into a shop if you see your check engine light on. Sometimes it can be a simple fix, like a spark plug replacement, but the longer you avoid it the bigger and more costly your maintenance will become. 


Remember that CarAdvise is here to help in these situations. You can even go to a walk-in appointment through CarAdvise and still receive discounted prices and be in charge of the approval process. Don’t let your check engine light stress you out too much. CarAdvise is here to help!

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