What Does Your Check Engine Light Mean?

September 9th, 2016 by

You’re driving along in your Toyota, enjoying the scenic cruise through Kansas City. All is well until suddenly a little yellow light pops up on your instrument panel. Its strange little shape sets the wheels grinding in your mind for a moment until you realize it’s your Check Engine light. That’s not a good thing, is it…

Once your Check Engine light is illuminated, it’s hard to be comfortable driving anywhere, much less going on a long trip in your car. There’s no indication of what the problem could be, just that there’s SOME sort of issue. So what do you do?

Here’s a few tips to try when your Check Engine light comes on.

Check the fuel cap

It sounds silly at first because the gas cap has nothing to do with your engine. The emissions system pressurizes the fuel tank though, ensuring that there isn’t a fuel leak. If the pressure doesn’t build up in the fuel tank, your car’s Check Engine light comes on to tell you there’s a problem that requires attention. Check if your fuel cap is loose and retighten it. If that’s your issue, sometimes the indicator on your dash will clear on its own. Other times, you’ll need to have the dealer clear the trouble code.

Determine if your vehicle seems to operate properly

There may be a one-time fault that turns your Toyota’s Check Engine light on solid. Poor quality fuel or a loose electrical connector may be all it takes to set the fault code. Even if your vehicle is operating like normal, you should plan to get the light diagnosed, though it may turn off on its own within a few days.

Is the Check Engine light flashing?

If the Check Engine light is flashing, there’s an urgent issue going on. You shouldn’t be driving your car until the problem has been diagnosed and corrected or you risk causing more damage than currently exists. If the light is on solid, the problem is typically less urgent.

Whether your Check Engine light is on solid, illuminates intermittently, or is flashing, you should plan to visit the service department at Jay Wolfe Toyota. Our technicians are factory-trained and experienced to determine the corrective action required. Get back to enjoying your Toyota once again.

Posted in Service