You’re in the middle of your busy day - working, running errands, accomplishing tasks, helping others, fulfilling family duties - and suddenly it’s there. Flashing and chiming, or maybe just glowing faintly on your dashboard. The dreaded check engine light is on. “Not today!” You whine, pleading with the light to just go away. You have far too much to do today, and definitely no time for an expensive and time-consuming Jiffy Lube trip. Surely it can’t be that big of a deal that the check engine light is on, right? It’s probably a malfunction. Or if something IS wrong it’s certainly isn’t dangerous. You can take it in this weekend. Or maybe next week, since this weekend will be so hectic. You’ll definitely have time next week. Or maybe next weekend.
And just like that, your check engine light has been on for a month, and you’ve been ignoring it. It’s not that you’re lazy - in fact you’re the opposite! You’re busy and hardworking and reliable. You simply don’t have the time, or maybe the money to get that check engine light resolved right now. The problem is that when you ignore a check engine light it will end up taking more time, more money, and more stress to get it resolved in the long run. Not to mention the worst-case scenario, which is that your engine could seize up, burn out, die.
It’s really easy to ignore a check engine light, especially if it isn’t accompanied by a scary noise or the feeling of hard grinding in the engine. If it’s simply a little light on the dashboard you may grow used to it and forget it entirely. This is bad! Ignoring your check engine light can result in bigger, more serious problems than the tiny problem the light first indicated. Ignoring your check engine light is setting you up for a sad and dangerous future.
You may ignore your check engine light because you don’t have the time to take it into an auto body or tune & lube shop. The irony here is that the most common reasons for a check engine light are simple, quick fixes, and there’s mostly likely a shop in your city that can get you right in and right out. Ignoring the check engine light will create problems that take much longer to fix, or even shut down your engine, taking literally days to fix!
You may ignore your check engine light because you don’t think it’s that serious, and you might be right. Sometimes it’s just a loose gas cap, or an old air filter. Neither of those are life-threatening problems, and they aren’t going to destroy your car. However, they are still problems and if they go unresolved then your fuel efficiency will go down, your cost of operation will go up, and the problem will not go away.
You may ignore your check engine light because you can’t afford whatever expensive repairs you think may be ahead. The joke’s on you! The most common reasons for a check engine light (oxygen flow, gas cap, spark plugs, etc) are all very inexpensive fixes. This means that for probably under $20 you can fix whatever is wrong with your car by addressing the check engine light. Unfortunately the problems will grow more serious and much more expensive if they are ignored over time.
Don’t ignore your check engine light! Get the problem resolved - quick, easy, safe, and cheap!