What to do if check engine light is on?

Can I drive my car with the check engine light on?

The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.

What is the most common cause of check engine light?

Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor — a sensor used to optimize a vehicle’s fuel-to-air mixture to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions — is the most common cause for a check engine light. With over 400,000 repairs nationwide, oxygen sensor replacements account for 8% of all check engine light repairs.

How much does it cost to fix the check engine light?

The national average repair cost linked to a car or truck’s check engine light now stands at $357, including parts ($216) and labor ($141).

How serious is a check engine light?

If the check engine light illuminates, it will either blink or remain constantly illuminated, depending on the problem. A blinking light, or in some cars a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Either way, you should have the vehicle checked by a mechanic.

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Why is my engine light on but nothing seems wrong?

Do a brake and steering check. If nothing seems to be acting strange, then it is probably safe to drive it until you can get it into a mechanic. Sometimes the light may come on after fueling if the gas cap is a little loose. Or it could mean your catalytic converter needs to be inspected.

What does a solid yellow check engine light mean?

The steady yellow light is telling you to take a look and fix the minor issue as soon as you can, but it’s not usually serious. The flashing light means that your vehicle’s engine is misfiring and you should investigate the problem immediately.

Can engine light come on for no reason?

The check engine light can come on for many reasons. For example, something as simple as a loose gas cap can trigger the warning. And major problems, such as failed internal engine components, can turn on the light, as well.

Can you ignore check engine light?

“A check engine light cannot be ignored,” says John Burkhauser, an auto repair specialist and director of educational programs at Bolt On Technology. “The system is telling you that something has failed and will immediately cause damage to your vehicle that will be costly to repair.”

Will a dealership buy my car if the check engine light is on?

Most dealerships will use the check engine light malfunction as an excuse to pay you less than the car may be worth. Be ready for a very low offer for the trade in. Your research will show the dealer you will not be taken advantage of.

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Is it better to replace an engine or buy a new car?

It is almost always less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one. Although something as severe as a blown motor or a failed transmission will run you between $3,000 and $7,000 to replace at a dealership, such repairs still don’t cost as much as buying a new car.

Can AutoZone check engine light?

AutoZone can diagnose Check Engine Light codes, yes. If your engine light turned on and you are wondering why, head down to your local AutoZone where one of our store associates can help diagnose the issue through our free Fix Finder service.