So you are driving somewhere, and you suddenly see with the corner of your eye that the check engine light is on. Now what? Do you still drive? Will your car get damaged if you do? Should you call for help? What do you do when the check engine is on?

Well, that’s what we will discuss here. We will talk about what to do when then the check engine light is turned on; we will discuss what does the check engine light means for the health of your car and what you need to do.

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Now, when the light comes on it, may seem like an ominous sign that your car is breaking down, but that’s not usually the case. The problems can range from you needing a simple scheduled service like an oil change or spark plug replacement to major problems with the engine. Here are some common reasons why you can see the check engine light:

  • Minor engine issues like loose fuel tank caps.
  • It’s time for a scheduled service.
  • Low fluid levels of any kind.
  • Exhaust emission issues.

However, these are not the only reasons for the light to turn on. We will go into a more in-depth discussion in the following passages.

By the end, we hope that you will know everything there is to know about check engine lights. So let’s start.

What Does The Service Engine Soon Light Mean?

Manufacturers nowadays usually have two different indicators. One is the check engine light, and the other is the service engine soon light.

Usually, you will see the check engine light when the engine control unit or the transmission control unit detects a problem with the engine or transmission system.

You can easily find out why the check engine light is on by using a good quality OBD2 Scanner. Once you troubleshoot the problem, the light will usually go away.

However, when there is a service engine light, it will usually not go away when you troubleshoot the problem. You often have to address the problem for the light to turn off.

When the light is on, the first thing you should do is check your owner’s manual. It should have instructions on what you can do. Now there are other things too that need to be checked. So here is a list of things that your service engine soon light can mean:

  1. It can mean low engine oil level, brake fluid level, wiper washer fluid, automatic transmission fluid, and low coolant levels. So check it out if your service engine light is on.
  2. Your fuel tank cap may be loose. Often the service engine light turns on when there is a fuel tank cap lose. So make sure you check the tank when the light is on.
  3. Are you hearing strange noises coming from your engine for some time now? Well, your engine might be making that noise because something is wrong. So If you hear strange noises from the engine, then that could be why the light is on. Make sure you check out or run a diagnostic on the engine as soon as possible.
  4. Often we as car owners ignore the scheduled service. If you haven’t had a scheduled service in some time or if you ignore all the scheduled dates, then the light can turn on. See if your car needs its scheduled service. Check the manual and contact your dealership for more information.

What To Do When The Service Engine Soon Light Is On?

Now, if the service engine soon light turns on when you are on the road, then you might not have your OBD2 scanner with you. So if you don’t have your diagnostic tools, then the best you can do is check for signs.

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Usually, there are two different color-coded signals for the service engine soon light, yellow, and red. These warning levels will help ascertain the next course of action.

Yellow Light: When the yellow light is on, it means there are minor issues with the engine. Just take out your OBD2 scanner if you have it on you or take your car to the shop for a routine checkup. An expert will be able to provide you with the solution you are looking for.

Red Light: Red light means that there are major issues with your engine, and you may be in danger if you keep driving it. When you see the service engine light is red, make sure you turn off the engine immediately and call for help. Have your car towed to your mechanic as soon as possible.

Don’t Worry If The Service Engine Light Is On

We’ve seen plenty of car owners worry when the service engine light is on, don’t. When this light is on, it’s usually a simple issue. Please go through the warnings and meanings we listed here in this article and see what the problems are.

Find out if your car is fit to drive or not. If it’s not, then call the towing company. Now you can easily find the problem with a diagnostic tool like an OBD2 scanner. If you don’t have one, then feel free to check out our review of the 5 best automotive scanners in the market.

Always make sure you check the color of the light. If you see the red light, then your car is in no condition to drive. Don’t panic. Your mechanic will be able to fix up your car quickly.

So that brings us to the end of this article. Hopefully, you understand now what the service engine light means, and you now know what to do when it turns on.

If you have any more questions, then feel free to ask them in the comments below or hit us up on our social networks, or you can chat with one of our representatives. We would be more than happy to answer any queries you may have about your car. That’s about it for now. We will come back with something new for you soon. Until then, see ya!