Orange check engine light indicating that there is a fault in the car. Concept image of “Why You Should Never Ignore Your Check Engine Light” | Quality Car Care in North Liberty, IA.

Why You Should Never Ignore Your Check Engine Light

If you’ve ever had your check engine light come on due to a loose gas cap, you might find it closer to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” than a legit warning sign. Ignoring your dash lights is a dangerous game to play, however, especially if you pop a piece of tape over it and move on with your life. 

Curious just what could happen if you ignore your check engine light at the wrong time? Here’s a look at why you should always heed the warnings from your car’s dashboard lights.

What is Check Engine Light?

All modern vehicles have an onboard computer called an electronic control unit or ECU. This unit monitors the ongoing operations of your car’s systems by reading all the values returned from each sensor.

When problems arise, the ECU takes a moment to determine if the fault is serious enough to get you involved. If so, the system illuminates the associated dash light, like your check engine light, to let you know about the problem.

Your car has dash lights for all the major systems onboard, but the check engine light is truly special. This light serves as the warning signal for all the things that could impact your engine’s performance, efficiency, and reliability.

How the Check Engine Light Works

Your car’s check engine light is located on the gauge cluster, ready to come on at the first sign of a serious problem. 

For most problems, you’ll see the light illuminate in red, amber, or yellow, depending on your car’s model. This lets you know you have enough time to jet into the shop for check engine light diagnostics and repairs.

However, if the light starts flashing, you must pull over and call for a tow. You can reach out to our team for help arranging the delivery of your vehicle to our auto repair shop in North Liberty, IA. We’ll get you on the schedule, so our ASE-certified technicians can perform all the diagnostic procedures needed to figure out what went wrong.

Risks of Ignoring Your Car’s Warning Lights

You should always get the light checked out, even if it often turns out to be nothing serious. All it takes is one time for you to end up dealing with major auto repair issues, like:

  • Lean running conditions, resulting in damage to your engine’s internal parts
  • Rich fuel mixtures that decrease gas mileage and destroy your catalytic converter and other parts
  • Engine misfires, which causes poor performance and damage to the motor if left unaddressed

When you bring your car into the shop, our precise check engine diagnostics may point to the oxygen sensor, spark plugs, mass airflow sensor, or other basic parts as the cause of your car troubles. As long as the problem doesn’t go on too long, our technicians can usually replace the faulty parts with new ones to fully repair the issue.

Except for the gas cap, most problems that trigger the check engine light could end up damaging additional parts if left unaddressed. We will then need to deal with the original problem and whatever else it damaged to get your vehicle back on the road.

Need Check Engine Light Diagnostics in North Liberty, IA?

When you need check engine light diagnostics, Quality Car Care is the way to go in North Liberty, IA and nearby areas. With a visit to our auto repair shop, you’ll get the accurate diagnostic insights you need to make excellent car care decisions.

We look forward to helping you keep your vehicle in great shape through every mile. So, please feel free to call us at (319) 626-2500 to set up your appointment. You can also find us at 900 Hwy 965 NE #11, North Liberty, IA 52317 if you’d like to swing by our shop.


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