1. What does check engine light mean?

As a newbie, we understand some certain things in your vehicle could confuse you at first. There is no need to worry over this. Everyone passes through these stages before becoming experts. To simply put, check engine light indicating that one of the systems is malfunctioning in your car. Once the light is flashing, we usually recommend our drivers to safely pull over. Anyways, to fix this issue isn’t as complicated as it might appear. Usually, when the light appears on the dash, you begin to wonder how much it will incur on your pocket and how to fix it. In fact, some amateur drivers ignore it and continue with their driving. In case you do not know, there is no ignorance on judgment day.

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The sensors in your powertrain are responsible for the monitoring of the operations of various components and are linked to a system known as On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD-II). The check engine light quickly calls your attention to any malfunction in your vehicle. Depending on the vehicle or brand, the light is usually red, yellow or orange. Some carmakers are making it easier by writing the words “Check engine Light” alongside the colour on the dash. 

When people say cars talk, don’t stand in disbelief. There are several ways cars communicate with their owners if only they paid attention. One of the ways is through the check engine light. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are in trouble. It could be minor issues like loose gas caps. The light gives information and provides diagnostics to car problems. Unfortunately, it could mean big issues like damaged oxygen sensors or any other vital component in the engine. 

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2. What are the types of warnings on check engine light?

a. Check engine light on

When you see this symbol especially when it stays steadily on the dash, it could mean different kinds of issues. Do not hesitate to take it to your auto mechanic shop.

b. Check engine light flashing

When the check engine light symbol is flashing or blinking, it could be a very serious issue. You need to pull your car over to a safe part of the road, shut off the engine and let it be towed for diagnosis at the repair shop. 

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How do I solve the check engine light issues?

Solving the check engine light issues is easier than you thought. We understand it could be a nightmare for drivers especially when it happens in the middle of nowhere. The first thing you need to do is take a look at the code which can be viewed on the vehicle’s computer system. It can also be read by the OBD II via the OBD connector port (found under the steering column). If you find it difficult reading the code, take your car to a repair facility for an expert to do that for you. If you want to avoid the stress of taking it to a workshop, you can buy a scanner to read the code yourself. Luckily, the scanner is cheap. It goes as little as $15. When you get the code, insert it into any search engine along with the vehicle’s description. By doing that, you will find the description of the issue on the net or closely related ones. 

However, we often recommend our readers to avoid guess work. It won’t cost you too much if you take your car for diagnosis at a workshop. One of the reasons for such is that DIY code reading might not give you the accurate problem. 

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3. What is the cost of issues associated with check engine light? 

Whether it is the light issues or not, you are bound to do some repair work on your vehicle regardless. Purchasing a vehicle isn’t the end of it. it requires some financial sacrifice at one point in time. If the check engine light indicates that there is a faulty oxygen sensor, the average repair fee is $259. It is usually expensive to replace a damaged catalytic converter. Most often, the best cost for replacement part and labour is usually around $1,190. Perhaps, you would pray it doesn’t get to that. If you are experiencing issues with the ignition coil or spark plugs, it would cost you around $400. For a massive air flow sensor problem, the repair cost is put at $378. The cheapest repair cost is with the loose fuel cap, which is only around $17. 

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4. How do I reset the check engine light?

It is possible for you to turn off the check engine light by yourself using the code reader. Turning it off literally makes no difference if you are yet to fix the issue that caused it in the first place. This is because once you turn it off without solving the issue, the light would reappear on your dash. More importantly, when you ignore this alarming light, it could be the end of your vehicle. It could go from ordinary plug issue to impaired catalytic converter. That’s one hell of a debt caused by negligence. The code is usually stored in the vehicle’s computer system, which makes it easily accessible to reset. 

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