Check Engine Light
This light comes on when the ignition is on, but the engine is not running, as a check to show it is working. If it does not, have the vehicle serviced by your dealer/retailer.
If the check engine light comes on and stays on, while the engine is running, this indicates that there is an OBD II problem and service is required.
Malfunctions often are indicated by the system before any problem is apparent. Being aware of the light can prevent more serious damage to the vehicle. This system assists the service technician in correctly diagnosing any malfunction.
Notice: If the vehicle is continually driven with this light on, after a while, the emission controls might not work as well, the vehicle's fuel economy might not be as good, and the engine might not run as smoothly. This could lead to costly repairs that might not be covered by the vehicle warranty.
Notice: Modifications made to the
engine, transmission, exhaust,
intake, or fuel system of the
vehicle or the replacement of the
original tires with other than
those of the same Tire
Performance Criteria (TPC) can affect the vehicle's emission controls and can cause this light to come on. Modifications to these systems could lead to costly repairs not covered by the vehicle warranty. This could also result in a failure to pass a required Emission Inspection/ Maintenance test. See
Accessories and Modifications.
This light comes on during a malfunction in one of two ways: Light Flashing: A misfire condition has been detected. A misfire increases vehicle emissions and could damage the emission control system on the vehicle. Diagnosis and service might be required.
The following can prevent more serious damage to the vehicle: - Reduce vehicle speed.
- Avoid hard accelerations.
- Avoid steep uphill grades.
If the light continues to flash, when it is safe to do so, stop the vehicle.
Find a safe place to park the vehicle. Turn the engine off, wait at least 10 seconds, and restart the engine. If the light is still flashing, follow the previous steps and see your dealer/retailer for service as soon as possible.
Light On Steady: An emission control system malfunction has been detected on the vehicle.
Diagnosis and service might be required.
An emission system malfunction
might be corrected by:
- Make sure the fuel cap is fully installed. See Filling the Tank. The diagnostic system can determine if the fuel cap has been left off or improperly installed. A loose or missing fuel cap allows fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere.
A few driving trips with the cap properly installed should turn the light off.
- If the vehicle has been driven through a deep puddle of water, the vehicle's electrical system might be wet. The condition is usually corrected when the electrical system dries out. A few driving trips should turn the light off.
- Make sure to fuel the vehicle with quality fuel. Poor fuel quality causes the engine not to run as efficiently as designed and can cause: stalling after start-up, stalling when the vehicle is changed into gear, misfiring, hesitation on acceleration, or stumbling on acceleration.
These conditions might go away once the engine is warmed up.
If one or more of these
conditions occurs, change the fuel brand used. It will require at least one full tank of the proper fuel to turn the light off.
See Gasoline Specifications.
If none of the above have made the light turn off, your dealer/retailer can check the vehicle. The dealer/ retailer has the proper test equipment and diagnostic tools to fix any mechanical or electrical problems that might have developed.
Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Programs
Some state/provincial and local governments have or might begin programs to inspect the emission control equipment on the vehicle.
Failure to pass this inspection could prevent getting a vehicle registration.
Here are some things to know to help the vehicle pass an inspection: - The vehicle will not pass this inspection if the check engine light is on with the engine running, or if the key is in ON/RUN and the light is not on.
- The vehicle will not pass this inspection if the OBD II (on-board diagnostic) system determines that critical emission control systems have not been completely diagnosed by the system. The vehicle would be considered not ready for inspection. This can happen if the battery has recently been replaced or if the battery has run down. The diagnostic system is designed to evaluate critical emission control systems during normal driving. This can take several days of routine driving.
If this has been done and the vehicle still does not pass the inspection for lack of OBD II system readiness, your dealer/ retailer can prepare the vehicle for inspection.