Why Can’t I Just Ignore the Check Engine Light?

March 17, 2022

Why Can't I Just Ignore the Check Engine Light? | ABS Unlimited in Fairfax, VA. Closeup image of a car dashboard shown check engine light.

Modern cars are incredibly reliable. They can travel thousands of miles with minimal maintenance. They are more fuel-efficient than ever before. 

These vehicles are also mechanically complex. They depend on hundreds of parts working in perfect harmony to deliver trouble-free performance. 

Because of the synchronization required, modern vehicles can—and do—experience problems. 

When they do, the first sign of trouble is often when the check engine light on the dashboard illuminates. It’s a kind of all-purpose SOS signal designed to let a driver know that something’s amiss. 

A shocking number of car owners treat an illuminated check engine light as though it’s no big deal. They believe that their vehicle will start to display more obvious signs of trouble—if there’s anything to worry about.

This train of thought can be costly. 

The best solution is to reach out to the mechanic at ABS Unlimited at the first illumination of the check engine light. As the best auto repair facility in Fairfax, VA, we can repair virtually every source of an illuminated check engine light. 

No matter the cause, it’s crucial to heed this warning all the time. Let’s take a closer look at the Check Engine Light and why you should never, ever ignore it.

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean, Anyway?

One of the reasons so many people feel comfortable ignoring their check engine light is that it’s so vague. 

It can turn on due to any one of 5,000 different trouble codes. Many of them don’t even have anything to do with your engine. 

If the check engine light said something like massive failure imminent, you could bet the average Fairfax driver would immediately head to their nearest mechanic.

As it stands, something as simple as a loose gas cap is enough to trigger your check engine light. It can also illuminate to indicate the engine is misfiring and is on the verge of suffering severe damage. 

Not telling the difference is the biggest reason you shouldn’t ignore the check engine light.

The Risk of Ignoring a Check Engine Light

The good news for car owners is that the vast majority of reasons the check engine light comes on is minor. 

Many require minor adjustments or inexpensive repairs to correct. But all of them are important. 

As we mentioned earlier, today’s cars are mechanically complex, so a single system not working as intended may eventually lead to much bigger malfunctions down the road. 

For example, take a misfiring spark plug. Initially, a slight misfire might not produce any noticeable performance issues. 

It could lead to unburned fuel entering the car’s catalytic converter. That can cause the catalytic converter to fail, which could cause decreased performance and fuel efficiency. 

Eventually, a misfiring spark plug could do severe damage to the engine itself or require engine replacement.

The Expensive Cost of Inaction

If you bring your car into ABS Unlimited for servicing as soon as the check engine light comes on, our mechanics can help you avoid the need for costly repairs. For example, a replacement spark plug could prevent thousands of dollars in repairs down the road. 

As long as you entrust your vehicle to the skilled mechanics at ABS Unlimited in Fairfax, VA, we can ensure your vehicle delivers peak performance.

Contact the Mechanics at ABS Unlimited in Fairfax, VA Today

Does the check engine light get you worried? No worries! The mechanics at ABS Unlimited can help. 

You could easily turn a molehill into a mountain if you ignore the check engine light. The best solution is to bring your vehicle to ABS Unlimited for a fast vehicle diagnostics test.

Contact ABS Unlimited in Fairfax, VA today.