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auto maintenance January 06, 2018

Things To Watch For When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

The reddish-orange warning check engine light pops on as you travel the streets of Burke, VA and you begin to panic. It is the most common reaction; after all, if the engine in your car stops working, you won't be traveling too far. But rather than panicking, recognizing the signs of trouble is a smarter option.

When the check engine light comes on, pay attention to whether it is staying constant (remains lit) or if it appears to flash or blink. The constant-lit check engine light is a sign that your engine may need maintenance, but you are not in immediate danger of a total engine failure.

However, if the check engine light comes on and flashes or blinks, you may have a bigger issue on your hands. A blinking check engine light typically is a sign of a severe engine problem. One such problem might be your engine misfiring. When misfiring occurs, unburned fuel is likely being dumped into the vehicle's exhaust system which will lead to larger problems. If your check engine light flashes or blinks, slow down and stop into Wiygul Automotive Clinic for an inspection as quickly as possible.

When your check engine light first appears — whether blinking or constant — here is what you should know:

  • Check for immediate dangers by checking your gauges. Look for an indication of low oil pressure or that your vehicle is overheating. If either of these issues are present, pull over as soon as safe and shut the vehicle off.
  • Check the condition of the battery and charging system by the gauge on the dashboard. If you lose power from the battery, your vehicle will be compromised. Inspection of these elements should be part of your routine auto maintenance routine.
  • Check the fan and alternator, along with the serpentine belt — all of these items are critical to the charging system of your vehicle. Belts should always be inspected during routine oil changes, and are always performed during service at Wiygul Automotive Clinic.
  • Check all cables to ensure proper connections are maintained, as well for overall function of the part. Make sure the connection is sound and free of corrosion or signs of wear.

For more information on routine car care and car maintenance, stop in to Wiygul Automotive Clinic in Burke, VA for a complete vehicle inspection and maintenance.

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