If your vehicle’s check engine light has come on, you may be wondering if car repair is in your near future. In most cases, it does mean you will have to at least get it looked at. However, if you do not immediately have the money to spend, you can at least narrow down what the problem is, usually before spending anything. Consider a few ways to determine the issue. One of the best methods for figuring out if car repair is necessary is going to a store that has car parts. Cars have codes for different issues, which is what causes the check engine light to come on. Most vehicle replacement part stores will tell you these codes for free. You may not be provided with much detail, but it is a start. For example, you may find out that your O2 sensor is causing the alert to show up on your dashboard, meaning that you need to get it checked out. If you have much knowledge of cars, you could probably fix it on your own, especially with a little advice from the employees at the replacement part shop. Since this is a free and accurate way to check out what the alert means, use this as your first step to fixing the issue. If you do not live near any shops offering this service for free, you can also look online. Usually if you put your vehicle’s make, model, and year into a search engine, along with the phrase “check engine light,” someone will have asked this question and received answers already. If not, consider asking about it on a forum about vehicles, as plenty of auto enthusiasts are eager to help out others when it comes to fixing cars. This is a free method, but it is not always accurate, so be sure to take the answers with a grain of salt. Also, make sure the answers are in regards to your auto, as different models or years often feature different parts. If these free options do not work, you may have to take the vehicle to a local car repair shop. You can mention to the employees that you are getting this alert on your dashboard and would like to find out what it means. Sometimes the checkup will be free as long as you fix the problem through them, but if you decide to wait to fix it, you may have to pay a little money to find out the issue. This is because the employees may spend a couple hours looking at your vehicle if the issue is not immediately obvious. No matter which method you choose, all these options are cheaper than a major car repair that can result when you ignore your check engine light. Though it does not usually mean you should stop driving the auto immediately, you should get it checked out as soon as possible. It may end up being nothing, or it might turn out you need major repairs that are best caught early.
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