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9 Problems That Could Be Activating Your Car’s Check Engine Light

Bob Vila Logo By Donna Boyle Schwartz of Bob Vila | Slide 1 of 10: The check engine light is linked to your car’s computerized systems, which allows it to notify you of minor conditions—such as a loose gas cap or bad spark plug—or serious situations, including a failing catalytic converter or a leaking vacuum system. In many cases, a steady light indicates a minor problem that you can check when you have a chance, while a flashing light indicates a severe issue that should be addressed immediately. Just remember: If you do see that light blink on, it's always better to address it sooner than later. 

Serious Problem or Minor Malfunction?

The check engine light is linked to your car’s computerized systems, which allows it to notify you of minor conditions—such as a loose gas cap or bad spark plug—or serious situations, including a failing catalytic converter or a leaking vacuum system. In many cases, a steady light indicates a minor problem that you can check when you have a chance, while a flashing light indicates a severe issue that should be addressed immediately. Just remember: If you do see that light blink on, it's always better to address it sooner than later. 

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