Will It Damage My Engine If I Continue to Drive My Car With The Check Engine Light On?

Vehicles have an inbuilt computer diagnostic system that alerts drivers of potential problems. While the warning light signals vary, the most dreaded is the check engine light. It signals engine and emission problems.

Can You Drive with the Engine Light On?

The check engine light turns on for varied reasons. When it illuminates, remain calm and assess the problem. If the light is on but not flashing and no other operational issues, you can keep driving to the nearest auto repair shop.

However, if the light keeps flashing for more than six seconds, it's a major problem. Pull over to a safe place and determine if driving is safe by,

Checking if the issue needs immediate attention

Check if there are other lights on. If yes, turn off the engine. Generally, a yellow light engine indicates further investigation, while red means you should stop immediately. You may also use a diagnostic app and fix the issue or call a mechanic.

Lowering the Speed and Load
Reduce your speed to lower the workload on the engine. This also prevents speed surges. If heavy equipment is attached, like a trailer, detach it where possible.

Checking the Gas Cap
The gas cap may be loose if the light turns on after leaving the fueling station. Tightening it usually fixes the problem, and you can continue driving.

Generally, you can drive if there's nothing unusual, like strange sounds, surging, heating, bucking, or irregular movements.

What Causes the Light to Turn On?

Several reasons cause this light to illuminate. Here are the most common.

  • Loose, Broken, or Missing Gas Cap
  • Spark plugs and Wire Issues
  • Failing Catalytic Converter
  • Faulty Mass Airflow (MAF) and Oxygen Sensor
  • Other emission problems

It's recommended and vital to have expert guidance and diagnosis to prevent further damage and if you need engine repair, bring your vehicle to Advanced Auto Care Center Florida today.


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