WARNING - Light is on, what do you do?
A light on the dash that doesn't say - washer fluid is low immediately panics you right? It can happen when you don't keep up with standard maintenance and with older vehicles you see it due to the age of the vehicle, however here at Capital Car Care in Springfield we like to keep you driving happy and listening to your favorite songs or talking to friends and family worry-free! Here are some quick tips and hard lines in the sand that you do not need to ignore.
FIRST TIP: Do not ignore a warning light. However, first line of defense is to stop the vehicle as soon as it is safe and then turn the engine off - wait a few minutes then turn it back on. If the light is still there - get your manual out to see what the light means (or Google it).
While not all car or truck dash warning lights are a sign that disaster is imminent, no warning indicator should ever be ignored. Here are some of the most frequent dash lights we see and what they mean.
Oil Pressure Light
The oil pressure light is usually an oil can symbol , although on older vehicles it may be a light with the word “OIL.” It comes on when there is a drop in engine oil pressure. Of all the warning lights, the oil pressure light indicates the greatest potential for serious mechanical damage.
If the oil pressure warning light comes on and stays on, pull off the road at the first safe opportunity, shut off the engine and call for assistance. Take it seriously.
Engine Temperature Light
The engine temperature light is usually a thermometer symbol, although in older vehicles it may be a light displaying the word “TEMP.” It comes on when the engine temperature is above the recommended maximum. Unless the temperature is quickly brought under control, major engine damage is likely to occur. If there are any signs of a cooling system leak, pull off the road at the earliest safe opportunity, shut off the engine and call for assistance.
Note: Be careful when opening the hood in the presence of steam, and never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
Charging System Light
The charging system light is usually a battery symbol, although on older vehicles it may be a light displaying the word “ALT” or “GEN.” It comes on when the vehicle electrical system is no longer being supplied power by the alternator.
If this light comes on, shut down all unnecessary electrical loads such as the radio, heater or air-conditioning, and then drive here to Capital Car Care in Springfield if you are in town immediately for further inspection. If not in town, Google "best local auto repair near me" and look at their website to ensure they are a reputable garage. Look at their reviews and their services to see if they can handle your repair job efficiently and you are comfortable with their facility.
Check Engine Light
The check engine light comes on when there is a problem affecting the vehicle's exhaust emissions. If the light comes on and stays on, make an appointment with us here at Capital Car Care in Springfield to have the problem checked in the near future. You can do that by calling the shop during business hours or by using our convenient appointment program.
However, if the check engine light begins flashing repeatedly, the catalytic converter is overheating. Should this occur, it is URGENT and we need to see you immediately for further diagnosis.
Disregarding a flashing check engine light could start a fire, destroy the catalytic converter and result in necessary repairs that could easily exceed $1,000. We want to keep repairs DOWN and you driving longer so it is all about being proactive here at Capital Car Care in Springfield. Drive safe and call us or drop by the shop with questions when in doubt.
CAPITAL CAR CARE at 7978 Forbes Place in Springfield, VA offers complete automotive maintenance and repair work for both foreign and domestic vehicles including hybrids. Our customers here in Springfield, VA have trusted us to provide exceptional service backed for over 40 years.