The check engine light on the dashboard is a warning that many vehicle owners dread. The check engine light is a signal that the on board diagnostics system has detected a malfunction in the vehicle’s emissions, ignition, fuel or exhaust systems. It could be caused by something as simple as a loose gas cap or a faulty oxygen sensor or spark plug or something as severe as a faulty catalytic converter or major engine problems, so you shouldn’t ignore it. All cars and light trucks have on board diagnostics that are supposed to detect engine-related problems that affect the emissions control systems.
The check engine light (typically a yellow or orange outline of an engine with the word “Check” or “Service Engine”) should come on for a few seconds every time you start the engine with other warning lights. If it stays on, that means there is a problem. If your check engine light is flashing or blinking rather than staying illuminated, it indicates a serious problem that needs to be dealt with right away. Many of the common causes of an illuminated check engine light are simple and easy to solve, but sometimes, an engine light means something serious has gone wrong.
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