Seriously, Can I Drive With My Check Engine Light On?
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Oh, No! My Check Engine Light Is On!

Can I Keep Driving?

You’re out on a cruise with the sunroof opened up, and the windows rolled down. Your favorite song blasts through your vehicle’s speakers, sending your head bobbing to the beat. It’s a good day, with the sun out and a cool breeze wafting all around you.

Then, you see that dreaded “check engine” light pop up on your dashboard.

It can take the air out of your lungs, can’t it? Out of all the issues anyone could have with their vehicles, the last thing we need dying on us is the engine. After all, it powers our car. It propels us into the world. It keeps us connected with our community. But what does that “check engine” light mean? Do you have to pull over immediately? How long can you keep driving with that blasted thing blinking at you?

Don’t worry. Take a deep breath, and keep reading. Information is your friend.

What Does It Mean If That Light Comes On?

The ECU, or Engine Control Module, keeps tabs on everything that has to do with your engine’s health. So, when that module senses any sort of issue, no matter how small, it kicks on the dreaded “check engine” light. There are all sorts of sensors and actuators within your vehicle that clock specific things, such as an engine’s temperature or leaks of any sort. But, when the ECU detects anything inaccurate, that light comes on during a vehicle’s start-up and stays on, even when the rest of the dashboard lights turn off.

The Light Is Officially On, What Do I Do?

The very first thing you need to do is observe your vehicle. Close your eyes and feel it. Listen to it. Smell the air around you. Do you hear any abnormal sounds? Is the car shaking or otherwise jolting even though it shouldn’t be? Do you smell anything, by any chance? All of these issues are things you can take to a certified technician at West Automotive Group so that they can help you narrow down exactly what’s going on with your car.

But, Can I Drive My Car Safely?

This is the most frequently asked question when it comes to this issue, and the answer isn’t straightforward. Driving with the check engine light on depends solely on the severity of the situation. However, most certified technicians will tell you to drive it as soon as you can to the nearest trusted mechanic in order to have the situation assessed. Even something as stereotypical as a fault in the engine’s oxygen sensor can cause serious issues down the road if not dealt with promptly. So, let me ask you this: if you were experiencing heart problems, would you wait to go to the doctor? Your engine is the heart of your car. It doesn’t run safely without functioning at peak efficiency. So, if you wouldn’t wait to take yourself to a heart doctor, don’t wait to take your vehicle to West Automotive Group in West Escondido, CA, to fix your car’s heart.

That check engine light on the dashboard can come with feelings of fear, panic, and possibly stress over what kind of money might have to be shelled out for fixes. However, taking your car to a trusted shop can ease the stress on your wallet. Catching smaller engine problems before they morph into bigger ones is a massive money-saver, so if your check engine light is on? Take your car straight to West Automotive Group in West Escondido, CA, and let their certified technicians get you safely back on the road today!

Written by West Automotive Group