What the Check Engine Light can Mean


When the check engine light comes on, it may not always mean that there is an issue with the engine. Sometimes the light could mean an issue with the catalytic converter, the engine, or something as simple as a loose gas cap. No matter what the issue could be caused from, it is always best to bring it in so we can inspect the vehicle for you.

The check engine light comes in orange, yellow or amber, depending on the manufacturer. If the light begins flashing, however, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter. These emissions devices operate at high temperatures to cut emissions, but can pose a fire hazard if faulty.

If the light comes on, the driver should first see if the gas cap is loose. A loose cap sends an error message to the car’s computer, reporting a leak in the vapor recovery system, which is one aspect of a car’s emissions system. If the gas cap is loose, tighten it and continue driving.

Occasionally, the Check Engine light comes on when nothing is wrong with the car. It could be a temporary problem caused by a change in humidity or other factors. In such cases, the light should go off by itself after a short time. The oxygen sensor with is part of the emissions system, may also need to be replaced. The best way to determine the issue with your vehicle and why the check engine light illuminates, is to bring it in so we can inspect it for you.