The dashboard of your vehicle is full of warning lights. These lights are your vehicle’s way of talking to you (the driver) about your car. Some of these lights are pretty obvious as to what they are warning you of, like low fuel level or a seat belt not being buckled. However, there are some warning lights that are a little more obscure. All dash warning lights will appear on when the ignition key of a car is turned on, but once the vehicle is started they go off within a few seconds. If they stay illuminated or go on while driving, then that is a warning to the driver that there is a potential problem. In the next couple of articles we will go over some of these dash warning lights to help aid in understanding what those warning lights mean and how you should respond to the warning.

Maintenance Required Light

The maintenance required light is often questioned by consumers. This is a reminder light, not really a warning light, and it is set by the mileage of your vehicle. When the vehicle is serviced with oil changes or other maintenance items, this light should be reset. It will then come back on when it is due for maintenance. If you look in your vehicle manual, it is set up based on the scheduled service intervals recommended in your book. If you would like to service your vehicle more frequently, you can have the maintenance reminder reprogrammed based on your preference.

Malfunction Indicator Light (Or Check Engine Light)

The malfunction indicator light is known as the check engine light or the service engine soon light. It can illuminate as an engine symbol or the words “Check Engine” or “Service Engine.” If this light comes on, this means that the computer of your vehicle has recognized that a circuit, system or sensor in your vehicle is working out of parameters. This problem can affect engine performance and emissions. If the light stays solidly on, we recommend making an appointment with your trusted repair facility soon and having the vehicle diagnosed and repaired. If the light is flashing on/off, this is considered a catalytic converter damaging condition and you will usually feel a difference in the performance of the vehicle. In this type of situation you should pull over, turn off the car, and have it towed to your trusted repair facility before further damage or a breakdown occurs.

In the next article, we will go over a couple warning lights that have to do with some of the safety features of the vehicle.

All About Automotive Offers The Best Quality Auto Repair & Auto Maintenance in Gresham

Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected].

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