Yellow Engine Warning Light
The engine warning light is often the most feared of all, with drivers worrying about vehicle breakdown and expensive repairs. In terms of the engine warning light being serious, that’s a bit of a misconception as you can usually continue driving and often the repair may be quite simple and not as expensive as feared.
The engine warning light, also called the check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) comes on due to a fault being detected by your vehicle’s emissions control system. Strict laws on vehicle emissions means that if something in your engine has malfunctioned that results in deteriorating exhaust emissions, the engine light comes on.
What to do if the Engine Light Comes on
There are several components that if malfunction can cause the engine warning light to come on. Some of the common reasons for the engine warning light coming on can include a fault with the:
- Fuel filler cap
- Mass airflow sensor
- Oxygen sensor
- Vacuum hose
- Fuel injectors
- Fuel pump
- Catalytic converter
- Particulate filter
There’s little point in guessing what part requires replacement, so you’ll need to hook up a diagnostic tool to the vehicle’s OBD-II port. Each time the engine light comes on, a code is generated. These codes are known as fault codes, or trouble codes. A diagnostic tool reads the codes and translate that code into readable information pointing you to the malfunctioning component.
All vehicle workshops have these code readers, or you can purchase your own equipment online. You can continue driving with a yellow engine light, but it’s advised that you have your car looked at as soon as possible. Leaving the fault may make the problem worse, which might lead to more expensive repairs.
Flashing Yellow Engine Warning Light
A flashing yellow engine warning light is a little more urgent. If it’s flashing, it means that the engine is misfiring, which can result in damage to your vehicle’s catalytic converter. If you’re driving and the engine light is flashing, reduce speed of both the vehicle and the engine. Doing this should be enough for the engine light to stop flashing and return to a non-flashing status.
Red Engine Warning Light
Most cars have an amber or yellow engine warning light, but if an engine light comes on and it’s red , it indicates something serious has gone wrong. As with all warning lights, red represents the most urgent, so have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Other Types of Engine Warning Lights
Other types of engine warning lights may contain an exclamation point . This is simply a different version of the engine light. Another type of engine light can contain a downwards facing arrow . This means that due to a fault, the engine has reduced power. Reduced engine power mode is a software override system to help minimise damage. When the fault has been fixed, normal engine power will resume.