You’re driving along and all of a sudden the car’s Check Engine Light Comes On. What a nightmare.

The check engine light is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a driver. It’s a sign that something is wrong with your car, but it’s often hard to figure out what the problem is. Talk about mixed signals!

If your check engine light comes on, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to figure out what the problem is and get it fixed. Before we dive into what can be done when your check engine light is on, let’s look at some potential reasons why it happens.

Why Your Check Engine Light May Be On

The check engine light is a crucial light on your dashboard. It can be the difference between a small problem and a big one. 

Here are some potential reasons why your check engine light may be on: 

Engine – It’s no secret that engine problems can trigger the check engine light.  

Faulty transmission – Your car’s engine control module (ECM) is its primary computer. It communicates with system sensors to ensure everything is running smoothly. If the transmission sensors detect a problem, the ECM will turn on the check engine light. 

Faulty emissions –  The check engine light comes on when the car’s emissions control system is faulty. Your vehicle could be emitting pollutants beyond regulatory standards. 

Faulty modules and sensors – An engine’s control module monitor operates using a collection of sensors. When it detects a problem, it turns on the check engine light. 

Air or fuel delivery issues -Your car’s engine needs the correct amount of air and fuel to run properly. If it gets too much or too little, you will see the check engine light.

Ignition system problems –  It is also possible that there is an issue with the ignition trigger. The control module monitors ignition systems and will turn on the check engine light if it senses an issue.

What To Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

Spot immediate problems

There are several things that you can do right away to see if the car needs immediate attention. This can either help you identify a quick fix or a bigger issue. 

Some of the potential problems requiring immediate attention include:

  • A missing cap in your engine
  • An unplugged or loose wire
  • Low oil pressure
  • Overheating

Check Your Gas Cap

A secure gas cap is critical to keeping your vehicle’s emission system functioning properly. Because a non-secure gas cap can cause dirt and grime to enter the fuel system, as well as allow fuel vapors to escape. 

This can trigger a malfunction in the emission system, triggering the checking engine light in response.

Reduce Load Size

Your speed and weight can both put extra pressure on your vehicle’s engine. This may lead to the engine working harder than it should, which can trigger your check engine light. 

Perform Diagnostic Test

The check engine light is an important part of your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system. This system helps to identify potential problems with your vehicle so that they can be fixed before they cause more serious damage. 

If your check engine light comes on, it’s important to take your vehicle to a mechanic and perform a diagnostic test as soon as possible. You can only do so much at home or by yourself. Taking it to a professional makes sure you don’t worsen any existing issues. 


In conclusion, the best thing to do when your check engine light is on is to take it to a trusted mechanic or dealer. And have it checked out as soon as possible. Do not ignore the problem or try to diagnose it yourself, as this could lead to further damage to your vehicle. 

Be sure to maintain your car properly. Take care of it well in the first place to mitigate the heart attack that comes with the check engine light.