10 Points on Driving with a Check Engine Light
Drive distance depends on severity
There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Driving with the light on can be
safe for 50-100 miles
, but depends on the issue's seriousness.
Blinking light = stop driving
check engine light indicates a
. Pull over safely and call for assistance. Ignoring it can cause major damage.
No change in performance? It's okay (for now)
If the car drives normally, no strange noises, smells, or decreased power, driving a short distance to a mechanic is likely okay.
Listen to your gut
Pay attention to your car's behavior. Unusual vibrations, reduced power, or rough idling suggest immediate attention.
Don't risk yourself or others. If unsure, it's best to err on the side of caution and get the car checked.
Get it diagnosed ASAP
Ignoring the light can worsen the problem, leading to higher repair costs and potential car breakdowns.
Use an OBD2 scanner
Consider getting an affordable scanner to read the trouble codes yourself. This can provide initial insight into the issue's nature.
Consult a mechanic
Don't try to diagnose the problem yourself unless qualified. A skilled mechanic can accurately identify the cause and recommend solutions.
Remember, prevention is key
Regular car maintenance can help prevent issues that trigger the check engine light in the first place.