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BY KEVIN SAWYER – It may be one of the most feared happenings in the life of any human. It’s the “check engine” light in your vehicle and it just came on. There is immediate panic and the dreaded feeling that your engine is about to fall out onto the road. But, fear not. It may not be as bad as you think.

Much of the time, with all of the electronics in modern day vehicles, it is rarely anything serious. Quite often it is a bad catalytic converter or you have some emissions leaking out of the engine or, believe it or not, your gas cap just might be loose. Taking it into your mechanic will remedy the situation. All your mechanic needs do is to plug in his handheld sensor and code reader and the computer will tell you exactly what’s wrong.

The EPA is one of the main culprits responsible for all of the emission controls and additional electronics but just the same it is best to take your vehicle in and see what is going on. It is not recommended, though many people do, that you continue driving around with the light on for any extended period of time.

You can also head over to your local hardware or auto parts store and pick up an inexpensive code reader and you can see for yourself what it is. Although, you are likely going to need your mechanic to adjust or repair what has gone wrong so you might as well bring it into the shop. While it may be nothing, it may, also, be something. Better to be safe, as they say.

Recent research reveals that about ten percent of us have their “check engine” light on right now. And, not only that, but more than half of this ten percent actually ignores the light for at least three months. In state’s where you need to have your vehicle inspected, you can’t get a sticker if the light is on.

PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay