Yesterday, when I picked up my car from the hospital valet the “Service Engine Soon” light came on. So I checked the car’s computerized vehicle status and it said all system are OK.
I do plan to bring the car to a mechanic when my husband gets out of the hospital, actually the ER where he has been for over two days, waiting to get a hospital bed. However, is it safe to drive it between now and then.
It all depends on your car. We don’t know the history or how well it has performed.
However, when my light goes on I usually end up driving it for a fee days before I have the time to get it looked at. So far nothing serious has happened.
It could just be the oil change light, no big deal. Check your manual but there is probably a more severe warning that could signal low engine oil or other serious problem.
Stop by a part store. They’ll often read the code for you.
Often it’s a lose gas cap
Almost never does it indicate a serious problem that needs to be taken care of immediately. Most part stores will pull the code and somewhat explain it for free. After pulling the code I’ve driven for 6 months or more with it on.
Take some electrical tape and cover it up.
I did that to my 84 Dodge Daytona (the worst car I have ever owned). The “turbo limited” light came on, but the turbo was never limited. So I taped over it.
My dad did it to a vehicle once
The twin to that Daytona was the Chrysler Laser. Two people I used to work with had those and we all 3 had the same problems - tach quit working…power limited light came on…clutch cable broke just after 12,000 miles (and out of warranty). One guy had the odometer break. He said he’d eventually fix it. They were fun as hell to drive, but they just weren’t put together very well.
I think it was a 70’s Chevy pick up that dad did something so it could still run in leaded gasoline that made the light come on.
If the light is red or flashing red or yellow, don’t drive it. If it’s just yellow, your safe to drive it.
Almost every time I’ve seen a check engine light, it was due to the gas cap.
Many cars ago, I had that issue. The gas cap would trigger it. What a pain.
This is common but with so many sensors it is hard to tell without a scan. The light came on my car the other day, it was catalyst was not performing. It could be a faulty sensor or bad cat. I cleared the code and rolled on. That was about 2,000 miles ago since I cleared the code and it hasn’t come back on yet.
For those that care, you can buy a $15 (use to be about $8 but inflation happened) OBD2 ELM327 bluetooth or wifi code reader on Amazon, Walmart, or Ebay. Use the free Torque app on your phone and you read all the sensors on your car and read and clear codes. I have one in all my cars. My truck started acting up one day, in lieu of calling a tow, I scanned it to find out what was wrong. It was the Throttle Position Sensor. I limped it about 3 miles to a parts store and over paid for the sensor (about $60 B&M or $20 on Rock Auto) and swapped it out. Less than 5 minutes and I was back on the road again. Growing up driving crappy vehicles, I was no stranger to a quick roadside repair.
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