Why You Should not Ignore Your Check Engine Light? | GIC Car Clinic

The check engine light on your dashboard display is very important and shouldn’t be ignored. Any time it comes on, there is a problem with one of your vehicle’ systems and you need to have it checked out right away before further damage is done or you have a complete vehicle failure and are left stranded on the side of the road.

When your check engine light comes on, it can be in two different, yet very significant, ways.

The first way is that the check engine light will come on and stay on indicating a problem, but one that is not going to cause you any immediate problems. You should still get this checked out right away as it still shows that something is wrong with your vehicle. The second, and more severe, way that your vehicle’s check engine light will come on is that it will light up and flash constantly. This indicates a major problem with your vehicle and you could be facing a potential break down situation. More damage is imminent with a flashing check engine light if you don't get it taken care of immediately.

If you continue to drive your vehicle with a check engine light that is on and not flashing, you will cause an increase in emission that your car is putting out and you will be hurting your gas mileage as well. With the prices of gas today, even a small decrease in fuel economy can add up to a sizeable chunk taken out of your wallet at the pump.

The problem you face with ignoring your vehicle’s check engine light is not just limited to a decrease in overall fuel economy, it can also make your car drive differently as many of the vehicle’s sub-systems are affected by each other. Having one of those systems not functioning properly can cause another system to fail and your car may drive rough or have problems starting.

Various check engine codes can have a pronounced effect on how your transmission shifts or how your engine performs. Some codes such as EVAP, EGR and temperature codes can even effect when your cooling fans turn on and off and that could lead to overheating in more severe instances. So you can see how ignoring these issues can lead to some very critical problems with your car.

Another thing you should remember is that if you live in the State of California, you won’t be able to pass the state mandated Smog Check if your check engine light is on. It’s always best to get your car checked out as soon as your check engine light comes on. It will save you time, money and hassle later on down the road.

The next time your check engine light comes on, bring your car in to GIC Car Clinic in San Jose, California where we will scan your car’s codes and let you know exactly what is going on with it.

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