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Will It Damage my Engine if I Continue to Drive my Car with the Check Engine Light On?

When your vehicle's check engine light suddenly illuminates the dashboard, it indicates something is wrong. However, you have no idea what it could be. One question will automatically come to your mind. Should you keep driving or immediately pull over?
The check engine light is connected to your vehicle's onboard diagnostic system. It is designed to illuminate (usually in a yellow light) when there is something wrong with the intricate connection of the car sensors and components. The check engine light is among those important notifications. It is located just by the car's steering wheel. The issues are conveniently stored on the system's trouble code to be decrypted by an electronic scan tool.

So, Can I keep Driving?

Whether to pull over or keep driving will depend on the specific behavior of the check engine light. Here is a simple procedure to follow:

Check if the Engine Light is Flashing

If the check engine light flashes for more than 6 seconds, it might indicate a potentially dangerous and emergency situation. However, if the light does not flash, your vehicle might not have operational problems, and you can keep driving. Ensure that your car is performing well, driving straight, and there are no noises emanating from the engine bay.

Pull Over

If the light is flashing, pull over immediately to check on the potential problem and avoid further damaging your vehicle.

Contact a Technician

Contact your technician to diagnose and fix the problem before getting back behind the wheel.

Common Causes of the Check Engine Light Illumination

  • A faulty gas cap: When the engine gas cap gets loose, there will be vapor leaks from the fuel tank, causing the check engine light to come on.
  • A damaged oxygen sensor: Your vehicle's oxygen sensor checks the oxygen amount in the exhaust system. It then relays the information to the onboard diagnostic computer to adjust the air-fuel music.
  • Filed catalytic converter: If the vehicle's catalytic converter fails, the car might perform poorly and consume excess fuel, causing the check engine light comes on.

The worst thing you can do is ignore your vehicle's check engine light, as it can be a sign of a potentially dangerous issue. If you need engine repair, we welcome you to Prospect Lake Auto Care for unmatchable services!

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