If the check engine light in your car comes on, it can be pretty unnerving. After all, it’s not exactly something you want to see pop up on your dash. But before you start panicking, take a deep breath and relax. In most cases, the check engine light is nothing more than a minor issue that can be easily fixed.
What is the meaning of Check Engine Light?
The check engine light, or CEL, is part of your car’s onboard diagnostic (OBD) system. It comes on when the OBD system detects a problem with the way your car is running. In most cases, this will be something little, like a loose gas cap or a faulty sensor. However, in some cases, it can be something more serious, like a misfiring engine or a leaking head gasket.
How to Read Check Engine the Light Codes?
If the check engine light comes on in your car, the first thing you should do is try to read the code. In order to do this, you’ll need an OBD-II code reader. These can be purchased at most auto parts stores or online. Once you have your code reader, follow these simple steps:
- Hook the code reader up to your car’s OBD-II port. This is usually found underneath the dash on the driver’s side.
- Turn on the code reader and make sure it’s set to read OBD-II codes.
- Start your vehicle and let it idle for a few minutes so the code reader can retrieve any stored codes.
- Once the code reader has retrieved the codes, it will display them on the screen. Make a note of any codes that are present so you can look them up later.
- Turn off the code reader and disconnect it from your car’s OBD-II port.
- Look up any codes that are present so you can determine what needs to be fixed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need a code reader to read my check engine light?
Q: Where is my car’s OBD-II port located?
A: The OBD-II port is usually located underneath the dash on the driver’s side. However, it can be in other locations in some cars. Consult your car’s owner’s manual for its exact location.
Q: What do I do if my check engine light comes on?
A: If your check engine light comes on, the first thing you should do is try to read the code. In order to do this, you’ll need an OBD-II code reader. These can be purchased at most auto parts stores or online.
Q: What do the codes mean?
A: The codes will tell you what system in your car is not functioning properly. Consult your car’s owner’s manual or a reputable online source to find out what the codes mean.
Q: How do I fix the problem?
A: Once you know what the code means, you can take steps to fix the problem. In some cases, like a loose gas cap, the fix may be as simple as tightening the cap. In other cases, like a misfiring engine, the fix may be more complex and require the help of a mechanic.
Q: My check engine light is still on after I fixed the problem. What do I do?
A: In some cases, the check engine light will stay on even after the problem has been fixed. This is because the OBD system needs to reset itself. To reset the system, disconnect the battery for 10-15 minutes and then reconnect it. The check engine light must go off after the system has reset itself.
In most cases, the check engine light is nothing more than a minor issue that can easily be resolved with a little bit of troubleshooting. However, in some rare cases, it can indicate a more serious problem that will require professional help to fix. If you’re ever in doubt and don’t know what, then it’s best to take your vehicle to a qualified/expert mechanic as soon as possible so they can properly diagnose and repair any issues that may be present.