Can you drive a car with the check engine light on?

The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.

How long can you drive car with check engine light on?

When the check engine light is solid, you can typically drive the car for hundreds of miles without an issue. Of course, that depends on which code is stored in the vehicle’s computer. If an engine sensor is faulty, the car will usually use made up sensor values to keep running.

How serious is a check engine light?

The check engine light — more formally known as the malfunction indicator lamp — is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. … If the light begins flashing, however, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter.

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

Spark Plugs

Finally, worn spark plugs or plug wires will result in a check engine warning. Just about anything wrong with your vehicle’s ignition system will likely cause your check engine light to come on. … Stalls are another indicator of spark plug trouble.

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What does a solid check engine light mean?

A solid Check Engine Light can mean something like a loose gas cap, or it can indicate a more in-depth problem like a fuel, timing, or transmission issue. Get your car diagnosed, although the urgency isn’t the same as if the light was flashing at you.

How much does it cost to get your check engine light fixed?

According to the 2017 Vehicle Health Index compiled by the automotive diagnostic website CarMD in Irvine, CA, the average cost to resolve an indicated check engine light issue is $398 including parts and labor, which is 2.7% higher this year than it was in 2016.

Can AutoZone tell me why my engine light is on?

You can. All that you need to check your own light is an OBD-II reader, which can pull codes that help you find out what’s wrong with your car. If you don’t have a code reader, keep reading to learn the most common causes, and then bring your car to your local AutoZone to find out why your Check Engine Light is on.

Will check engine light go off by itself?

A check engine light will shut itself off if the condition that caused it is remedied. … If you then did a bunch of highway driving before changing the oil, the specs may have dropped back into the normal range, causing the light to go off.

What to do if check engine light is on?

If the check engine light comes on, here are some tips on what you should do:

  1. Look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. …
  2. Try tightening your gas cap. …
  3. Reduce speed and load. …
  4. Use built-in diagnostic services, if available.
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