Diagnosing Your Check Engine Light

March 13, 2020 10:07 am Published by

There are few moments as a car owner more stressful than having a mysterious check engine light come on. This light can mean anything from a loose gas cap to a full-blown engine failure. Knowing how to read your engine warning light and then diagnose any further issues yourself can easily help you save tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your car’s lifespan. You can tell a lot about what exactly is wrong with your car by learning what your check engine light means and learning about what kinds of noises your car can make. If you want to learn more about potential warning signs and get all the parts and tips you need to take on any DIY project, come into your local U Pull And Pay and meet with one of our DIY mechanical specialists.

Understanding Your Warning Lights

First of all, just because your car’s check engine is on doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your car. Your check engine light can be triggered by a number of different sensors, including engine temperature sensors, exhaust monitors, and dozens of other sensors all over your car. These sensors can malfunction every once in a while, causing a false check engine light to pop up.

If your check engine light has turned on, you should check your car’s owner’s manual to see if your car has any detailed information displayed for these indicators. Most vehicles have two states of warning lights, flashing and constant. If your check engine light is remaining constant that generally means that the issue is less pressing and less serious. That doesn’t mean that you should drive your car for another few thousand miles and then worry about the issue; any check engine indicator is important enough to thoroughly check.

If your check engine light is flashing, your car is under some serious duress and needs to be dealt with right away. A flashing check engine light can mean a wide variety of issues, from things as small as a malfunctioning spark plug to a potentially dangerous head gasket failure. Make sure that if your check engine light is flashing that you don’t haul any trailers or heavy loads and avoid speeds over 40 miles an hour as any of these could cause massive engine failure. Ignoring a flashing check engine light could easily result in tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your vehicle.

Common Issues To Watch For

The best way to prevent expensive issues from happening is by knowing your warning lights. A thorough understanding of these warning indicators and lights will help you quickly diagnose potential issues well before any serious damage happens. You can further protect your vehicle by learning the sounds and signs of potential failures. If you hear sputtering or coughing, you may have an issue with your fuel or ignition system. Poor fuel economy could be a sign of faulty fuel filters, air filters, or airflow sensors. Check each of these systems to make sure that they are functioning properly and are cleaned. Make sure that you always listen to and pay attention to your brakes. Any squealing, scraping, or sluggishness in your brakes could be signs of worn pads, rusted calipers, or thinned out brake fluid.

If you notice any of these signs and you want to get all the parts and tips you need to easily handle these DIY projects yourself, come into your local U Pull And Pay today. Our DIY experts will help you get everything you need to tackle your next DIY project for a price that you’ll love.

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This post was written by Jonathan Kling