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Ah, that little orange light on the dashboard – we all know what it is… and 99 44/100th percent of the time, we don’t like it! We feel we can honestly say, that we’ve all been there – you’re driving along and all of a sudden, “bing”, the check engine light comes on. The problem is, you really have no idea exactly what the light is trying to tell you. It could be anything from a loose gas cap, a failing O2 sensor, a misfiring engine or who knows what else.

“Alright”, you think, “now what”? While we can’t give you a crystal ball and tell you what is wrong with the vehicle, we can give you some tips on how to handle the situation better. First of all, you do not have to immediately pull over and have the vehicle towed, even if the light is flashing or blinking. Ignore the light, however, you will run the risk of doing some sort of damage which may result in a larger repair bill than you could have originally. The “check engine” light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. Depending on year, make and model, there could be well over 100 sensors on your vehicle! They’re in the engine, the transmission, the exhaust system, the fuel tank, and even on the exterior of the vehicle. However, most of the sensors have one common thread – when it finds a problem in the electronic-control system that it can’t correct, the vehicle’s computer turns on the yellow warning light.

If the check engine light comes on & stays solid, that means that you should have your vehicle checked soon, say within a week, because it signifies a less serious, but still an attention requiring situation. If the light comes on & flashes, you should have it looked at immediately or at the very least as soon as possible; and we don‘t mean within a few days. This is because the system is telling you there is a more serious problem with the vehicle. Again, these are merely guidelines. Any time the check engine light comes on, you should have it looked at and serviced properly. As always, the service department at Varney Value can help you out with any questions or concerns – not only with check engine diagnosis, but bumper to bumper service on your vehicle!