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Is It Ever Okay to Ignore Your Check Engine Light?

A check engine light is on in a car.

You crank your car, ready to head to work or out with friends, and boom! Your day is ruined because your check engine light is on. But your car is still running fine, so do you really need to deal with it now?

Unfortunately, you can’t ignore your check engine light, and while you might not need to rush to a mechanic within the hour, you do need an automotive checkup soon.

One of the issues with your check engine light is that you don’t really know what it’s about. The light is an indicator that something has gone wrong, and while, yes, it could be something engine related, for some cars it could be as simple as a loose gas gap. But you won’t know until you take it to a mechanic.

Car Emergency Safety Kit Bag

Stay safe in case something goes wrong on the road.

As for how your mechanic will decipher it, they’ll hook your car up to a diagnostic computer that’ll spit out a list of different codes that will indicate what the issue is. The car can then be diagnosed and repaired.

So, you need to get to work or you had a road trip planned, how long can you wait to get the engine checked? Not long. While your car might be running fine for now, whatever is causing that light to switch on can cause major wear and tear on your car, shortening its lifespan or even making the problem worse (and potentially more costly to repair). Your best bet? Schedule a check-up as soon as possible.

While yes, it might be tempting to ignore your check engine light, if you want to prevent further damage to your car, book that mechanic appointment.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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