Hey...Who Turned On the Lights?

5
March
2013
Lights and alerts appear on your dashboard for good reason. They are built-in messages to warn you of trouble. And for the most part, they are pretty simple to decode. For instance, the “oil can”appears,your usual first thought is, “OK, time for an oil change.”When “BRAKES”illuminates, your nervesbecome a bit unsettled; but, at least you know it’s definitely time to have yourbrake system examined.
 
From the gas light to the low battery alert, these warning lights indicate a slight oversight and should be expected aslong as you continue to drive your vehicle. But,there is one light in particularthat seems to scare us more than others. It’s that dreaded “Check Engine” light jumping out like the closeted guest at your surprise party and sendingyour blood level to the roof.
 
Also known as Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), the “Check Engine” light can represent a variety of issues. It may bea simple fix like tightening a loose gas cap or unsettled dipstick. Other times, a more complex issue like a poor fuel supply system or a bad catalytic convertermay be the cause.
 
Dollar figures roll through your head as you fear, “What overly expensive part of my car is dying on me?”No matter the cause, there’s no need to edit and skim-down your written will just because some terrifying shape appeared on your dash. Try these four tipsinstead:
 
  1. Trace your steps – Double back to make sure that your gas or oil cap and dipstick are all properly placed and tightened.
 
  1. Don’t panic but don’t ignore– 10% of all vehicles on the road have a“Check Engine”experience and it’s rarely a means for panic. However, be aware that an internal issue exists and ignoring could invitemore problems.
 
  1. Beware of a flashing light – If youexperience a flashing “Check Engine” light versus a steady one, pull over in a safe area and call yourroad service provider. A flashing light indicates a more serious problem such as overheating or worse issues that lead to long term damage to your vehicle.
 
  1. Schedulea diagnostic reading – At first sign of a “Check Engine” message, call yourtrusted service provider.They willquicklyassess the issue, describe the vehicles problems, and hopefully put your mind and nerves at ease. 
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