The check engine light is a type of signal that detects and indicates the vehicle malfunctions. It’s an onboard diagnostics system that can find out any defect of ignition, fuel or exhaust systems, emissions system. Also provides essential and immediate signals to you.
If you notice the check engine light flashes then stops driving immediately. Otherwise, it may cause serious damage like engine misfires.
When you get into the car, the check engine light is either on or not. For every vehicle, the check engine light is almost the same. It looks like an orange or yellow icon of the motor.
There are other lights placed on the dash for maintenance required, service engine soon, etc. Those lights are related to the mileage triggered reminder to oil your car engine like that.
Check engine light is actually triggered by your car’s computer which is monitoring sensors throughout the system. It will be saying one of the sensors has found something wrong. Just make sure when you are looking at the check engine light, either it is constantly on or flashing continuously.
Now the crucial question is, is driving safe when the check engine light is on? The answer is it depends.
The check engine light coming on your dash usually indicates something that will not cause anything serious or damaging to your engine. For example, if you do not tighten the gas cap enough, it will throw an engine code at the computer of the car. That defines it as being under the wrong pressure in your fuel tank. In addition, your car gas mileage might not be as great. But you can drive in this situation.
There will be times when the check engine light is indicating something a little bit more serious by flashing. If you watch the check engine light is flashing, more often than indicating the cylinder misfire.
Moreover, it is a bit more serious issue. If you keep driving that way, that will cause very extreme damage to your car exhaust system. The car is probably running really rough and you have no power which is unsafe as well.
Again, that check engine light is going to be accompanied by other symptoms such as car shaking, not starting properly or creating smoke or other lights on the dashboard. It seems that very serious issues are detected.
In addition, the check engine light is accomplished with a high temperature reading on the temperature gauge. Or the oil pressure light is going on and then you must shut the car off immediately.
How to diagnose the misfire issue?
The check engine light flashes to indicate a chance of misfire. The common reasons behind misfires are clogging spark plugs, vacuum leaks, weak fuel injectors, worn valve seals, no voltage at the coil, carbon tracking, and so on.
If you find the light is flashing, take the car to the mechanic to repair it. Though that requires a lot of money.
Unlike other reasons for misfire, you can easily fix this on your own if the cause is spark clogging. Spark clog is a common reason for misfiring. Often people forget to replace them and get old. Then starts causing problems.
The following diagnosis and most common ways can easily solve the misfire culprits.
We need to figure out why the light is on. So you need to read the codes by a code reader. Or do it from auto parts shops that offer to decode free.
Once you decode the code, you can diagnose what’s happening to your car. The code reader shows codes for misfires. Also, that shows specific descriptions with cylinder numbers. For example cylinder 2 is misfiring.
When you identify the misfire problem, you have to go for the further step.
The second step is to remove the spark clog. There are a couple of things you need to check before this step. Is there oil on these threads or above the shaft or remain dry?
Oil leaking caused the spark plug problem and led to misfires or blue smoke. If they dry, check the electrode on a spark plug. Then you should replace them with a new spark plug. Because damaged spark plugs are pretty cheap to get them out anyway and often they can have problems internally.
The check engine light may not go off on its own. You have to reset it. Before you turn the car on after doing repairs, you have to clean your engine code. So that you will know whether the repair works or not. You can use a code reader. Or you can go under the hood and disconnect the negative terminal to the battery for a minimum of 10 minutes or more. Which will reset the computer and turn the light off.
How to prevent engine misfire?
To prevent the extreme internal components damaged by a misfire, you have to follow the scheduled maintenance accordion to your car. Always notice the check engine light signal types and take action immediately. That can prevent car engine misfire issues.
Keep the car components up to date and enjoy a safe ride.