If your car's check engine light comes on, don't panic. A check engine light indicates a vehicle malfunction, which can mean many things, from something as simple as a loose gas cap to more pressing issues like an engine misfire. Learn how to handle it safely with help from RJ’s Tire Pros & Auto Experts. Our ASE-certified mechanics can perform check engine light diagnostics on your vehicle, identifying operational issues and performing necessary auto maintenance before they progress to more expensive repairs.

Know the Two Types of Check Engine Lights

There are two types of check engine light warnings – flashing and static. A check engine light that is on and remains steady is not an emergency. It indicates the need to take your vehicle to your local auto repair shop as soon as possible - but you don't need to pull over and turn off your car immediately. A flashing check engine light is more serious. If your check engine light starts flashing, pull over to a safe location and tow your car to the nearest car service center for diagnosis to prevent potentially serious damage.

*Note: Don’t confuse the check engine light with the “service” lights. These lights indicate it’s time for scheduled maintenance – not an automotive repair issue.

Reasons Your Check Engine Light is On

Your vehicle’s check engine light is how it communicates an auto repair issue that needs your attention. Engine sensors connected to your car’s computer diagnostics system activate this light to inform you when something isn’t functioning correctly. Common culprits include:

Emissions issues

  • Loose gas cap
  • Malfunctioning exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve
  • Worn out catalytic converter

Engine misfire

  • Compression issues
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Defective fuel injectors
  • Worn plugs, wires, or ignition coil

Failing sensors/electronics

  • Faulty oxygen sensor
  • Malfunctioning mass air flow sensor


What to Do About a Check Engine Light

Never ignore a check engine light. Disregarding a check engine light could lead to costly repairs for expensive vehicle components – like your engine. A check engine light could also indicate poor fuel economy and excess emissions. RJ's local auto mechanics can identify potential issues in a flash by reading the check engine light code in your vehicle’s computer system. Using these "trouble codes" and following diagnostic procedures, we can get to the heart of your check engine light issues.

Address your check engine light in a flash. Contact RJ’s Tire Pros & Auto Experts at 509-453-8170 to schedule check engine light diagnostics for your Yakima, Union Gap, Selah, Naches, Gleed, West Valley, East Valley personal or commercial vehicle today.

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