What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

It sets you on edge. It makes you question whether your vehicle is safe to drive. Are you going to cause problems if you keep going, or is it best to pull over and call roadside assistance? All because of the Check Engine light. It’s a little yellow light that’s roughly the shape of your car’s motor. It’s actually a malfunction indicator lamp and doesn’t come on solely because of engine problems. It could be something else altogether. Your Acura is a highly technical machine. It uses computers, wiring, sensors, and controls of all sorts to operate as efficiently and precisely as it does. That doesn’t just span the powertrain but the emissions system, the fuel system, engine airflow, and virtually every other aspect. When one thing isn’t working quite as it wa designed, a fault code may set the Check Engine light on.

Why is the Check Engine light on?

It can come on for a wide range of issues. It could be something very minor like a one-time fault from a sensor, a rough start in the dead of winter, or the gas cap could even be loose. It could be emissions-related, meaning your vehicle may not pass a smog test or a vehicle safety inspection and is producing harmful emissions from your tailpipe. It could be something a little more serious as well such as engine, transmission, or fuel system problems that could cause a breakdown.

Should I be worried if the Check Engine light comes on?

Ninety percent of the time, the Check Engine light is a minor concern that won’t cause issues while you’re driving. You can continue to use your Acura, but you should get it into the dealership’s service department for a professional diagnosis and correction as soon as you can. In the very rare instance you don’t feel your vehicle is operating safely, it might be best to stop driving and have it towed. If your Acura’s Check Engine light is on, we can help. At Acura of Springfield, our knowledgeable, factory-trained technicians will determine the root cause and get it fixed right so you can continue driving confidently. Call us or drop in today to have your Check Engine light looked after.