Most of us have probably had this happen at one time or another. You’re driving down the road and suddenly your check engine light comes on. As you’re worrying about what the problem could be and if your vehicle is still safe to drive, the light turns off. Relieved, you keep on driving and tell yourself that you’ll have it checked out. But, of course, the matter is quickly forgotten. You don’t remember about it until you’re out driving a few days later and the same thing happens all over again. So, is there a problem with the engine or with the light?
Engine sensors measure a variety of areas that help reduce emissions and serve functions for the engine, transmission and other systems. The areas they measure include manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold absolute pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen levels. The light will turn on if a measurement stays outside the normal range long enough. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a major problem, but it does mean you should bring your vehicle in for an inspection.
If the check engine light comes on, even for a brief period of time, you should have your vehicle checked out at the earliest opportunity. If the light starts to flash, the problem could be more severe and should be checked out immediately. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!