What Do Those Dashboard Lights in Your Car Mean?

Check Engine Light
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Check Engine Light

Color: Amber

The dreaded check engine light makes you worry that there's a serious issue with your car, but that's not always the case. This light may flash on for any of several reasons, and most of them are due to routine maintenance that needs to be completed. That could mean replacing the mass airflow sensor, oxygen sensor, spark plugs, or spark wires. Sometimes, it could mean a loose gas cap. The problem can become expensive if it involves replacing your catalytic converter, which usually runs upwards of $1,000. A shop can run diagnostic codes to help you narrow down the source of the problem.

Many people often do their best to ignore the check engine light, but that's not a wise decision. Until the underlying problem gets fixed, your car will probably burn more fuel than usual or may be prone to overheating. The engine and exhaust components may also suffer from premature wear.

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