When your engine light comes on, what should you do? An engine light means that engine performance is being impacted, hurting your fuel consumption and wallet as you pay for more fuel. Get your vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Is it safe to drive with the engine light on?
In many cases, yes. The engine light is not necessarily a sign that your engine is about to seize and send you into a world of financial pain. If the light stays on, it usually means the problem is not serious. Pay attention to your vehicle’s performance. Do you hear strange sounds? Is it driving smoothly or stopping and surging? Provided there are no other warning lights on, the engine sounds and feels okay and the water temperature is normal, you should be right to keep driving to a safe location, however, it is recommended that you get the vehicle checked to prevent a small problem spiralling into a more expensive one.
What are some of the most common reasons the engine light comes on?
Loose fuel cap
The fuel cap keeps the vehicle’s system under ideal pressure. If the cap is loose, tighten it. If the lid is worn out, replace it.
If the engine light is flashing, it can indicate something more serious, such as unburned fuel being dumped into the exhaust system which can damage the catalytic converter. A catalytic converter is an integral part of the exhaust system. Its primary function is converting toxic gases into harmless components. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent the failure of a catalytic converter. If it is damaged, a replacement is imperative. If the light is flashing, drive home safely, reducing power where possible, and get it checked by a mechanic immediately.
Oxygen sensor failure
The oxygen sensor is part of the exhaust system. Your car will keep running even with an oxygen sensor failure. A sign that it is not working is an increase in fuel consumption.
Damaged spark plugs
Spark plugs are essential during ignition as they transmit electricity from the coil. Damaged spark plugs need to be replaced.
Failure of exhaust gas recirculation
A damaged exhaust gas recirculation system will need replacing. For some vehicle owners, this is a DIY procedure, however, if the reason is clogging, the system will require a thorough clean.
The battery allows you to start your car, charge your phone, keep the stereo on, and light the headlights. These components drain the battery, which is normal, however, additional parts like alarm systems could be the cause of the failing battery. Always have an aftermarket alarm installed by an expert.
Noel’s Progress Road Pitstop – much more than a mechanic
With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, the experts at Noel’s Progress Road Pitstop are here to assist with all your mechanical needs. Not only do we provide servicing and repairs, but we also stock a huge range of parts and products, including tyres, 4WD equipment, lift kits, mag wheels, rims and more. Conveniently located in Wacol, less than 10 minutes from Springfield Lakes and Orion Town Centre, our state-of-the-art workshop welcomes vehicles of all makes and models. We also tailor all our services to both personal and fleet vehicles.