When buying a car, there is a lot that you need to know besides just driving it. A car is more of a machine, and a small hitch can cause a major breakdown. As such, it is imperative to have some knowledge about the different parts of the car as well as how they should function. One of the indicators that many people often ignore is the check engine light on the dashboard.
The check engine light is part of your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system, and the minute it turns on, you should know that something is amiss. Some of the things that might cause the check engine light to go on include loose fuel cap, oxygen sensor failure, ignition coil issues, mass airflow sensor issues, and a vacuum leak, to mention a few. With that said, the big question is, what should you do when your car suddenly displays a check engine light? Read on to find out.
1. Find a safe spot and pull over
Unfortunately, the check engine light turns on when you least expect it. If you are driving on the highway and it turns on, it is advisable to drive till you find a safe place where you can pull over and check what the underlying issue could be. As aforementioned, many things might cause the check engine light to turn on. First, you want to check the dashboard for any other indicators that may help you identify the problem. Secondly, turn off the engine and simply check for any faults on the engine. For example, you can try to tighten the fuel cap and see if the light will go off.
2. Go to the nearest garage
Sometimes even after trying some DIY’s, you might find that the check engine light is still on. What this means is that there might be a serious problem that needs to be checked and corrected by a professional mechanic. As such, it is always advisable to visit the nearest garage and get your car checked. The expert is in a better position to advise you on what exactly the problem is and even sort it out to avoid any further damage as they often use OBD2 scanners for diagnosis. In some cases, you might be forced to replace some of the malfunctioning car parts. And in as much as purchasing the spare parts might cost you some bucks, it is better to do so before it causes further damage to your engine.
3. Buy your OBD2 scanner
Taking your car for an engine light diagnosis is a great idea, but it might end up costing you a lot more, especially if the car has more than one issue. To make it easier for you, you could buy an OBD2 scanner that helps you read the codes by yourself and know what the underlying issue is. This puts you in a better position as you will be able to know what the problem is and, in turn, schedule a service appointment with your mechanic if need be.