What You Should Do If The Check-Engine Light Comes On

You are driving along in your vehicle, and all of a sudden, the check engine light on your dashboard is on.  If you are like other car owners, you may wonder what could be causing the check engine light to illuminate, and what you need to do. The check engine light could mean different things, but you should not ignore the yellow light that illuminates on the dashboard. This post highlights what to do when the check engine light turns on.

1.     Look For Common Problems That Require Immediate Attention

The first reaction when you realize the check engine is on is to stop and look for potential engine problems that require immediate action. Note that if not attended to immediately, the engine issues could escalate which means you need engine overhaul. Check the gauges on your dashboard to determine if the engine could be overheating or you are experiencing a low oil pressure. If the engine is overheating, pull your vehicle over and switch off the engine.

2.     Check the Gas Cap

Tightening or replacing the gas cap could solve the issue. Modern gas caps come with a special seal, which is part of the vacuum fuel system. Sometimes if the cap’s rubber seal is broken or misplaced, this can trigger the check engine light to come on. You may need to tighten or replace the gas cap for the check engine light to switch off.

3.     Check If The Pressure or Load Is Too Great

Often, vehicles performance might decrease because of going too fast or when the vehicle is transporting heavy cargo. If you suspect that to be the case, reduce the cargo or reduce your speed.  If the check engine light goes off after either of the two, you definitely know that too much pressure is affecting your engine’s performance.

4.     Try the Inbuilt Diagnostic Services

Modern cars come with integrated remote diagnostic capabilities. Thus, they have the ability to check the error codes, so you can schedule the proper service appointment. You may contact the vehicle manufacturers to find out how to use the feature. Once the problem is diagnosed, schedule the service appointment so that specialized technicians can check the engine.

5.     Engage a Towing Company In case of Major Engine Problems / If Problem Persists

The check engine light could mean a minor or a major issue. Where the issue is major, it is advisable that you engage the services of a professional towing company. Note that if you keep driving a vehicle, this can result in permanent engine damage. Therefore, it is important that you choose to engage a professional towing company to deliver the vehicle to the nearest service station or dealer’s workshop.


We have looked at the things to do when you are experiencing a check engine light problem. Do not ignore the check engine light. In case of a major engine issue, you do not want to drive the car further, contact a professional towing company near you.