There you are in the drive-through of Starbucks, about to start your morning with a cup of coffee. Suddenly, the ominous glow of your check engine light pops on. Before you drive straight to your local Katy mechanic, remember that this indicator doesn’t always mean the worst possible scenario. There are many reasons why this could’ve happened, and the majority of them are actually an easy fix.

Check the Gas Cap

Everyone experiences a mental lapse every once in a while, and that can certainly happen when you’re out getting gas. Maybe you forgot to take your receipt, or disengage the pump at your desired dollar amount. Many of us have even neglected to close and/or tighten the gas cap.

What many people don’t know is that a loose, cracked or otherwise faulty gas cap can cause fuel to evaporate, which is one of the many factors capable of turning your engine light on. Once you see this happening, the first thing you’ll want to do is pull over, make sure you’re in a safe spot to get out of your car and check to see if the gas cap has been properly secured. If this proves to be the culprit, then your light should go off within the next 10 to 20 miles.

Knowing When It’s an Emergency

Your car is designed with several warnings that can indicate a major problem, like low oil or radiator temperatures. The check engine light is actually not one of them unless it’s flashing or you can feel a noticeable difference in your engines performance; it rarely indicates the necessity of emergency services. Don’t worry when you see it switch on. You’ve got a few more miles or days to get things checked out, but don’t wait too long or you run the risk of even more costly repairs. Sooner is better when it comes to car repairs.

Other Reasons

There are other reasons your check engine light can come on, and some are a little more complicated to diagnose. Triggers can include a damaged vacuum hose or ignition coils, a failing catalytic converter or worn spark plugs, among other things.

While most people aren’t going to know what this means, your car’s on-board diagnostic system will. Our crew at Dillon’s Automotive is more than capable of deciphering it and figuring out the next steps required to fix it.

Car Mechanics in Katy, Texas

When your check engine light comes on, don’t panic. Dillon’s Automotive Center is here to service your car and find out what needs to be repaired. We’ll even make sure your gas cap is screwed on tight! Contact us to set up an appointment.


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