What to Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

What to Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

When the check engine light comes on, it’s important not to panic.

Light is often used in literature and film as a sign of “good:” Light Side of the Force vs. The Dark Side, Gandalf the White vs. the shadow entity of Sauron, etc. But it is also used, at times, to signify death and destruction. “Walk away from the light!” You might hear every now and again. Unfortunately, when a light comes on in your dashboard it’s to alert you that something is wrong–especially when the check engine light comes on. Many situations can trigger the check engine light and what to do next is not something they teach you in Driver’s Ed.

The Three Stages of the Check Engine Light

  1. OFF – In a perfect world, this is the stage in which our light would always exist. You may have noticed is anything but perfect, meaning that that check engine light is bound to turn on at some point.
  2. ON – If it’s illuminated that means that there is something wrong with the car. If you continue to drive it, it will cause some serious damage to the car. You can likely still drive it to the mechanic, but towing it would be safest.
  3. BLINKING – This means there’s an engine misfire and should be taken to the mechanic immediately. Driving while the light is blinking is not recommended as it could cause serious (and expensive) engine damage, and a tow truck is definitely the way to take your car to the mechanic.

Having the right auto insurance policy can help to give you the peace of mind that you need while you’re on the road. It likely won’t cover breakdown issues you ignored, so it’s best not to ignore that check engine light. Contact the independent insurance professionals at VGW Walker Insurance for all of your Texas car insurance needs to keep you safe.