Check Engine Light
The orange light on your vehicle’s dashboard labeled “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” became standard on all makes and models sold in the United States in 1996.
The light indicates there is a problem with your vehicle’s engine and powertrain control system. Your vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system (OBD) monitors the conditions in your vehicle and turns the light on when there is a problem. The check engine light does not indicate the exact nature of the problem. With the right training and diagnostic equipment the problem can be diagnosed and repairs performed.
- Check to see if your gas cap is secure and tight. A loose or missing gas cap can trigger the light to come on.
- If the light is flashing a problem is currently happening that will cause major damage to your engine. (Do not operate your vehicle with a flashing CEL.)
- If the light is on solid or steady the problem must be diagnosed a the first convenient opportunity.
- The technician connects a “scan tool” to your vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system to get the stored codes and data.
- The technician uses the trouble codes and data which indicates a path to follow and equipment necessary to diagnose the problem.
- Further testing and diagnosing may be required to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
- Once the problem is found and repairs are made, the computer values are restored and the modules are reset and programed. The check engine light will be turned off.