Check Engine Light: Is It an Emergency?

check engine light

You’re driving alone on a dark road, when all of a sudden the Check Engine light on the dash comes on. Oh, no! What do you do now?

In most cases, relax. The Check Engine light is rarely an emergency. It indicates that the computer recognized a problem in one of its systems. Very often that problem is emissions related. But it probably isn’t something that’ll cause any real damage to your car or a safety issue for you. And your car won’t stop running all of a sudden.

After you get home, you’ll want to call your local repair shop and make an appointment to have the system checked. If the light goes out, it probably means the problem is gone for now, but the computer still may have stored a diagnostic trouble code that your technician can retrieve and diagnose.

Your local ATRA Member shop can check your car’s computer system for codes, and diagnose any computer system problems you may experience.

To find the ATRA Member near you, click the Shopfinder link.

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