Why is My Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some, is ignored by others and is a mystery to most of us.

If your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components and needs to be taken care of right away.  You should not drive at highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to the service center.

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your service advisor to get it checked out.

 Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer called an “engine control computer”. The computer can adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive. 

To make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the Check Engine Light.

The computer will also try to adjust and compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it will then turn off the Check Engine Light.

If the problem can’t be resolved, then the light will remain on and you should have your vehicle inspected.

Your service technician will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

If you notice that your “Check Engine Light” is on, give Eureka Brake & Automotive a call.

Eureka Brake & Automotive




Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant