The simplest answer to this is no, you should not drive with the engine check light on. Its purpose is to warn you there is an issue with your vehicle and you need professional assistance.
In short, you need to click here and get professional help with diagnosing the issue and repairing it.
But, in reality, you’re likely to be in the middle of nowhere or even fast-moving traffic, making stopping instantly an issue. In these situations, the more pertinent question is whether it’s safe to drive with the engine check light on. After a tow can be surprisingly expensive.
The good news is that in most cases you can continue driving safely. The key is to shut off the radio and minimize other sounds in the vehicle.
This will allow you to listen to the car and concentrate on how it is driving. If it feels or sounds strange in any way you’re going to need to stop, there is no guarantee that it is safe to continue.
But, if the vehicle is behaving normally you can continue on your journey. Of course, you’ll need to consider where you are going. If you’re at the start of a long journey then it’s worth getting the car checked out before you go any further.
But, if you’re just engaged in your local commute then carry on and book your appointment with a professional as soon as possible.
Failing To Deal With The Check Engine Light
Although it may be safe to continue driving that doesn’t mean you should ignore the check engine light. If you don’t do anything about it you could end up with a much more serious issue.
The check engine light can point to a number of faults. Some of these are minor, such as a faulty gas cap, or a sensor not working properly. In other cases, the faults are major, the engine check light could indicate a misfire, which could be a serious engine issue causing you to lose power.
It can also be a problem with your braking system, coolant level, or even power steering. All of which could be dangerous if they fail while you’re driving.
If you don’t deal with these issues quickly they are likely to get worse, your check engine light is your warning to get the problem sorted.
What To Do After Your Engine Check Light Has Come On
It should be noted that in some cases the car will go into limp mode after the light has come on. This is a safety feature that limits your speed until the fault is fixed. In this instance, you should drive the car to your garage and not drive it anymore.
In other cases, you can keep driving but book an appointment for an inspection. The garage will read the error codes to find out what fault your car’s electronic system has detected.
They can then provide you with a quote for the repair, which you’ll need to have done to ensure your car is safe and reliable in the future.