The Check Engine Light – Telling You Something Don’t Wait to Check It Out

Just picture a scenario about you driving alone at night listening to your favorite song. Out of the blue, a strange orangish light appears on the dashboard, that looks like an engine, but with an exclamation point. Obviously, you will forget about the song, and now worrying thoughts start running through your head.

What does it mean? What do I do? Here is a rundown on warning lights, possible reasons behind this, and what to do in this situation.


What Does the Light Mean?


Make sure it is your Check Engine Light. Several lights and messages can come on when you are driving. If it is your Oil Light or your Temperature Light, pull safely off the road and turn your car off immediately. If you continue to run your engine when it is low on oil or if the temperature is too high, an $800 repair can easily become a $4,000+ repair and may mean the death of your beloved car.

OIL LIGHT – It should be red, and usually looks like an old fashion oil can.

TEMPERATURE LIGHT—It should also be red, and often looks light a thermometer with a flag attached to it.

When one of these lights comes on, and you are not handy enough to check your oil level or your coolant level, call a tow truck, and have your car towed to Car Craft. If you Knowing how to check your oil level, you should ensure that there is a proper level of oil in your engine. In case you don’t have the oil with you, have your car towed.

If it is your Check Engine Light (Which should be yellow or orange, and usually looks like an engine), what this is telling you is your Engine Control Module (ECM) has an issue with a component that it can’t fully rectify. In case the light appears, the ECU stores what is also known as the diagnostic trouble code (DTC).

This can be identified by a special diagnostic tool used by the mechanic. The function of this code is to point in the direction of the problem.

Is Your ‘Check Engine’ Light on? If So, Then Here Are a Few Possible Reasons Why-

  • Catalytic Converter Failure

Being an integral part of the vehicle’s exhaust system, it turns Carbon Monoxide into Carbon Dioxide which is generated during the combustion process. With poor engine maintenance and tuning catalytic converters can become clogged and lead to poor fuel economy and engine performance. Converters get clogged over time, but doing routine maintenance and induction cleaning their life can be extended. It is best for the environment, your cars efficiency/performance and to keep repair costs as low as possible to have this fault repaired as soon as possible.

  • Oxygen Sensor Failure

Also known as O2 sensors, it measures the exhaust gasses in your exhaust system. If an O2 sensor is causing your CEL to illuminate, it could be caused by a faulty sensor or your engine may need routine maintenance. Continuing to drive with a faulty sensor, or an engine not performing at peak performance is bad for the environment, causes poor fuel economy, and can lead to more expensive internal engine problems. Everyone has a friend or relative who brags about continuing to drive their car with the CEL on who will tell you that their car continued to run fine. What they don’t realize is they either wasted more fuel or polluted the environment more because they failed to have the maintenance or repairs are done or BOTH!

  • Fuel Tank Air Leak

Your car’s fuel tank is supposed to be airtight. It prevents fuel from evaporating and harming the ozone layer and prevents fire in case of a roll-over crash. One cause can be if you did not tighten your gas cap to 3 clicks after fueling, or perhaps your gas cap is old, and the seals have become brittle and cracked. If you just fueled up, you might try opening, then re-tightening your fuel cap. If this does not solve the problem, Car Craft can both vacuum test your fuel cap and can pressure test your fuel system to see where the leak is occurring

Tips on What to Do in Case the Check Engine Light Suddenly Comes On


Unfortunately, about once a week, someone comes into Car Craft who continued to drive with an oil light or temperature light on. They have ruined their engine, and we must break the news to them that they need $4,000 or more in repairs. If it is the oil light or temperature light, stop immediately.

  • Have Car Craft scan the codes and fix the issue

In order to avoid any inconvenience, bring your vehicle to Car Craft and have us read the codes. We are happy to do this and perform a full vehicle check free of charge. It is better for your wallet long term, and the environment to maintain or repair your vehicle before small problems become big headaches.

Closing Thoughts

If your check engine light is on, don’t ignore the problem. It will not repair itself. You spent tens of thousands of dollars on your vehicle. You deserve to be able to use and enjoy it in its top running condition free of worry and inconvenience. Keep your car properly maintained by having Car Craft perform regular and routine maintenance (every 4 months or 6,000 miles).

16 Replies to “The Check Engine Light – Telling You Something Don’t Wait to Check It Out”

  1. Just bought 2nd hand car, driving home, engine light came on. Took to mechanic, he disconnected computer. Several days later topped up the fuel and bang engine light on again. Both times after adding fuel to car. Previous owner only used e10. I use premium.

    1. Just canceling your vehicles check engine light is not a repair or solution. Important to find out WHY it came on, and fix the problem. You could be damaging your vehicle by letting someone temporally turn off the light and not repairing the problem. Come to Car Craft for all your Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Ford, GMC, and Chevrolet check engine light problems.

    1. Porsche designs their vehicles for many different driving environments. Your Porsche, in Georgia, should not require any special maintenance for the summer months. It is important, however, to make sure that your tires and all routine maintenance is kept up to date. Call us at the shop today, or make an appointment online and we will be happy to check your Porsche to make sure you are ready for the summer (or fall, or winter) driving season.

    1. Larry,
      We do charge for our diagnostic time. We know that there are some shops who will tell you that if you have the repair done with them, the diagnostic is “free”. Everyone knows that there is no free lunch. What those shops are doing is marking up the price of the repair in order to cover the cost of the diagnostic time. At Car Craft, we don’t think that is honest. When we hand you your bill, we feel like it is only honest if you can see how much the repair cost, and how much the diagnosis costs.
      So come see us at Car Craft for HONEST billing and HONEST car repairs.

    2. But usually a scan can give a code, which could indicate multiple of things. The scan takes 2 -5 min, but will you be certain about identifying the actual problem? I think if you can, no one should be hesitant to pay.

      1. Sometimes the scan will only take 2-5 minutes, but our in depth scan takes about 25 minutes. And the scan only points to the system that is malfunctioning. Then we have to inspect that system to see why it is malfunctioning. However, we never perform repairs without approval, so come by and let us scan your vehicle today!

  2. My 2002 Toyota Avalon has a VSC light.thst just came on along with the check engine light
    I just got this car a month ago and it was maintained beautifully. What could the problem be?

  3. What causes a light like a yellow spanner to come
    Is it a sensor problem it happens mostly when I stop and start again at across roads
    My car is a Ford Fiesta year 2019 engine 1.1 can you help

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