The Check Engine light on your vehicle can tell you a lot about the health of your engine and alert you to problems that may arise from failing sensors, ignition components, leaks, and more. Though your Check Engine light may not tell you exactly what the solution to your problem is every time, having your Check Engine light trouble code scanned at O’Reilly Auto Parts at 426 South Duff Avenue, Ames, IA, can help point you in the right direction to begin your repairs and continue your diagnosis.
Your Check Engine light isn’t the only light on your dash that may require immediate attention. Your oil pressure, temperature, and brake warning lights may also be indicators that your car is not safe to drive. If you are unsure of what one of the warning lights on your dashboard is telling you, we are happy to help. Check out our Dashboard Warning Lights page to learn more about what each of these warning lights could mean so you can address the problem before it causes engine damage or an accident
Your Check Engine light can come on for a multitude of reasons, including everything from a major engine failure to a loose gas cap that could be creating an evaporative emissions leak. There’s really no way to be certain what is causing the Check Engine light to illuminate or blink without having it tested and the codes retrieved. In many cases, a blinking Check Engine light may indicate a more severe problem that could cause engine failure or severe damage, and it may be best to limit driving the vehicle until you can have the problem diagnosed. A Check Engine light that comes on solid often indicates a less pressing issue that should still be addressed, but the vehicle may still be able to be driven to your local O’Reilly Auto Parts in Ames, IA, to have your Check Engine codes read.
Visiting a local O’Reilly Auto Parts store to have your Check Engine light codes inspected is a simple, straightforward process that can help you begin your diagnosis or may even point you to the needed repair. Simply stop by your local store and ask a parts professional to come out and plug in one of our diagnostic tools. They will read the stored codes and return to the store, where they can print off a list of possible repairs and a brief explanation of the issue that may be causing the Check Engine light to come on. They can also offer advice on possible repair solutions, parts that may be needed, or refer you to a local service center if you’re not comfortable performing the repairs yourself.
In some cases, a Check Engine light could represent something as simple as a loose gas cap or other problems that don't affect the performance or efficiency of the vehicle, but it's impossible to be certain of the cause without having it diagnosed. For that reason, it is recommended that you limit driving the vehicle regularly until the cause of the Check Engine light has been determined. If your Check Engine light comes on, it should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure that your vehicle continues to drive at its best, and visiting the O’Reilly Auto Parts at 426 South Duff Avenue to have the codes read should be a priority before you continue driving your vehicle normally.
A flashing Check Engine light may indicate engine problems that are potentially more serious and could cause severe engine damage if the engine continues to run. This could include misfires, knocking, or severely rich or lean idle conditions. In most cases, it is advisable to refrain from driving the vehicle if the Check Engine light is flashing until you know the severity of the damage that is causing the code. Failure to do so may cause the engine to suffer damage or complete failure.
A Check Engine light that is still referencing an active problem, such as a failing sensor, a misfire, or other problems affecting the engine may not be able to be turned off by simply erasing the code. Even erasing stored codes may only turn off the Check Engine light until the next time your engine’s computer detects the problem, at which time it will come back on. If the Check Engine light is on, the best way to turn it off is to repair the problem, and after several key cycles, the engine will often turn it off automatically. This indicates the problem has been resolved and is no longer a concern. Erasing Check Engine codes can help you determine if the problem has been solved, but is in no way a solution to the problem itself.
If your Check Engine light is on, don’t take a chance on getting stranded, or worse yet, risk damage to your engine. Stop by O’Reilly Auto Parts and we’ll test your Check Engine light codes for free. We can even print out a list of common fixes for the codes, and help you find a repair shop if needed. Sarah’s story is just one of hundreds of instances at O’Reilly Auto Parts, and we take pride in keeping our customers safe and on the road.
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