A flashing check engine light can be scary, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're in for an enormous repair bill. Here's how to figure out what the light means and what you should do when you see the check engine light on your car's dashboard
What does the check engine light mean?
While the check engine light can mean that there is a serious issue with your engine, it often means that there is a small issue that needs your attention to avoid further damage. This could include a fuel cap that has not been replaced properly, low oil pressure or a blown spark plug.
Depending on your car's model, the light might be orange or blinking if there is a minor issue. It might be a red light or a light that keeps burning (without blinking) for more severe issues. The best is to consult your car's owner manual to understand how problems are indicated.
What to do if your check engine light goes on
Once you notice the check engine light, stop at a safe place as soon as possible. Be sure to turn on your emergency indicators and set out your emergency triangle to increase visibility if you are in an area where traffic is moving around you.
If the area is safe enough for you to get out of your car, give someone close to you a call and let them know where you are and what's happening even before you start digging around for the problem.
Grab your owner manual and check for a "FAQ" section or information on what the different lights on your dashboard could mean. If you have a newer model car, there might be a diagnostic option that you can run inside the vehicle.
Start by checking if all the caps on your car are closed and tightened. Check the fuel cap. Access the engine and check if everything seems to be connected and in the right place. Look out for disconnected hoses or loose belts.
What if you’ve checked all of these parts and the check engine light is still on? Then you might need to call roadside assistance to determine whether your car needs to be towed before you attempt to switch the engine again.
If your car shows that there is only a minor issue, you can contact CRS Automotive to book a service so we can help you determine the problem without delay. Get in touch to schedule a service at our Hamilton or Oakville service center as soon as you see the check engine light.