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Why does the check engine light keep coming on?

This is the million dollar question that many drivers find themselves asking when they see that little yellow warning light start flashing. Is it safe to keep driving on to your destination, or should you pull over and call a tow truck to the nearest auto shop for urgent engine repair?

So why does the check engine light keep coming on? There are several reasons the check engine light may be triggered:

  • A loose, cracked, or faulty gas cap can cause fuel to evaporate, thus causing your check engine light. Make sure your gas cap is tight. If that is the problem, the check engine light should go off within 10 or 20 miles after you start driving again.
  • Damaged vacuum hose
  • Ignition coil(s)
  • Failing catalytic converter
  • Worn out spark plugs.

Most of today’s modern cars have an onboard diagnostic system that provides a code identifying the specific issue at hand. At the earliest time possible, take your car to a certified mechanic. Technology is now available that will help your mechanic diagnose the problem easily. Whenever you see the check engine light come on, schedule an engine service for a diagnostic test. The important concern is to make sure that long-term damage isn’t taking place in your engine and that you aren’t compromising the safety of your vehicle.

Remember, don’t panic! A check engine light rarely signals anything disastrous. Although it’s okay to keep driving for a few more miles or days, the smart thing to do is get your car into your auto shop as soon as possible so that you know for sure what’s going on in the engine and avoid a potential costly engine repair.

Wondering why does the check engine light keep coming on? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Dependable Car Care for more information about engine repair and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in the community of Ventura, CA, and the surrounding area.