The "check engine" warning light comes on - what to do

warning engine "check engine"

Check engine warning light

Turning on the "check engine" warning light usually does not mean that the car cannot continue to drive. Here's what can be the reason and how to behave.

From the outset, the injection systems are designed to ensure that the engine can be operated even when a fault occurs. injection. However, it was decided that the driver must be notified of the malfunction. Therefore, a "check engine" light appears on the control panel, indicating an engine failure.

In reality, however, it is a lamp that indicates a problem with engine electrics that affects the exhaust emissions and engine performance. Despite the revolution that the acceleration systems have undergone, the control function has not changed.

When will the check engine light come on?

The on-board self-diagnostic system cannot detect mechanical engine damage until it affects the sensor signals of the vehicle engine management system. The system responds to any inconsistencies in the electrical signal, but does not turn on any inconsistencies in the motor failure indicator. If the defect is considered negligible, it remains only in memory and only after a few times does the message "check engine" appear.

On the other hand, in the event of a significant fault, ie, for example, when a fault has a large effect on the composition of the exhaust gases, the engine fault indicator illuminates.

What to do?

Systems whose failure prevents further driving, as a rule, have a warning light of red. The lack of oil pressure or engine overheating actually require an immediate shutdown of the engine. Meanwhile, orange controls are a warning that a problem is occurring, but not necessarily stopping.

This is exactly the case with the "check engine" indicator, which only informs the driver about the problem. If the ignition of the engine fault lamp is not accompanied by a sudden drop in performance, it is usually possible to complete the journey without major problems. If the "check engine" light comes on, you definitely don't need to drive long without checking because there can be bigger problems.

When to turn off the engine?

It has happened that the engine failure lamp is accompanied by a major decline in performance. The transition to the so-called Emergency engine mode is particularly noticeable for turbodiesel with variable turbine geometry when the turbine pressure control wings are blocked and maximum overpressure pressure is exceeded. Then it's worth stopping the car in a safe place, turning off the engine and starting the engine again. If the overrun was temporary, there is a good chance that after the engine has restarted, the engine will run normally.

The most common causes of ignition "Check Engine"

In order for the engine failure indicator to turn on, the ECU of the engine must repeatedly record a serious malfunction or repeated recurrence of a minor problem. The self-diagnostic system responds only to those failures that are able to detect sensors operating on the engine and its accessories.


check engine


A second lambda probe controls the operation of the catalyst and detects a poorer catalyst operation.

Lambda probe defect

Lambda probe

Lambda probe

An incorrect lambda probe signal is one of the most common mistakes made in gasoline engines.

Bomb failure

check engine


A typical failure of many gasoline engines, the engine starts to malfunction.

Turbine geometry blocking

Excessive charging in turbochargers is often caused by the turbo steering.

Special cases: Auto gas cars

Relatively often, the message "check engine" appears on cars with autogas. This is in most cases the result of deregulation of the installation and incorrect dosing of gases. The problem is mainly related to installations that are neglected by the owner (filters are not changed regularly, etc.).

Diagnosis and switching off of the "check engine" lamp

Just turning off the "check engine" light does not solve the problem. It is necessary to find out the reason for the error. However, if it is already known, the error message can be deleted either by a mechanic or you can do it yourself. Otherwise, we can use the phone app.

All cars manufactured since 2000 have an ODBII Diagnostic System, which establishes universal fault codes. In the case of a propulsion system, these are codes P0001 to P0999. Numbers above P1000 are reserved for certain car manufacturer codes.

In a workshop

The diagnostic tester used in the workshop has many features, and one of the basic ones is to erase errors.

A smartphone

The smartphone can work as a diagnostic tool in cars after 2002. It is necessary to buy OBDII interface (ELM327) and download an app (e.g. Torque Prose).

The "check engine" light is a sign that there has been a malfunction in the engine, but at the same time nothing that would stop the drive immediately. Be sure to check the cause of the error, but you can do it safely even after the trip. Driving with a signal error for a long time can be harmful, for example, to the catalytic converter.


  • Domagoj says:

    You said everything, and you are not the most important - how to fix the fault ... that is, that the lamp no longer lights up?


    • Zoran says:

      The light can go out, but how to solve the problem PR: I put a job at the car electrician's computer, he says that there is a problem (communication + and -) and he will delete the problem, I start the light bulb engine does not light and I continue driving but the engine shuts down while driving What does it say again that it is something a mechanical error and that's how I hang around for a few days I can't fix the fault

  • Atif says:

    Big poydrav
    My problem is with the caddy 1.9 tdi when the car duye stand for two to three days a little longer and blonde smoke erupts and for half a minute it works as if it is a three-stroke. recently i reparated the nozzles and all the work in the normal range shows all green.
    The EGR valve is clean enough to have 3-4 drops of oil when needed.
    I am interested in YOUR OPINION
    Best regards

  • NebojÅ¡a says:

    Opel Zafira, 88kW, 2007. Bluish smoke from the exhaust, turbine repaired and re-installed on the car. Until the repair, it consumed 0,5 liters of oil per 500 km. After reparation, it consumes even more oil, sometimes throwing bluish smoke on the exhaust when it heats up, but quite a bit. It doesn't spill oil anywhere, it doesn't throw oil on the oil gauge, it doesn't smoke at all on the iberlauf. I don't know what could be done about that anymore… Please advice. Greeting.

  • Ivan says:

    The Check engine on the 2004 Ford Fiesta, 1,2 petrol, with Landirenzzo auto auto gas started, covered 8,500 km, and oil was poured, which does not suit us, because after 5.000 it started to suddenly lose its viscosity and turn into water - constantly measuring and topping up. Also, I have a problem with autogas, it works incorrectly at idle and the revs drop, it shakes like before extinguishing, while it works well on petrol… I am interested in whether it is enough to do service, or could it be something more serious?

    • Ema says:

      Hello Ivana, have you solved the problem? I have had the same problem for half a year and the masters do not know how to solve it. The engine is the same gasoline and the same thing happens to me as it does to you.

  • Predrag says:

    Dear, I drive a Pezo 206 1,4 hdi.It happens during the ride, occasionally, that the chek engine light comes on. At the same time the pointer from the engine temperature to max suddenly shifts and the red STOP light comes on. just a pointer. I remove the battery from the clamp, wait a few seconds, return the clamp and still ride normally without a single light on. Do you know what caused this phenomenon? Thanks in advance for the answer

  • zeljko says:

    Regards to all. i have a reno lagoon 2 1.9 dci and the other day the red check engine light came on and the car switched off, after that it went on and it lights up and the engine is running normally. what can that be

  • Samir Bedic says:

    Škoda Fabija 19tdi 74kilovata 2006 godis palisemi yellow lamp on the left kilometer hour go 20 kilometers and turn off the car after an hour or two when I start the car shut off stj problem

  • milan says:

    my orange engine (check engine) burns on a suzuki balen 1.6 benz-gas.2001. Sometimes the first ignition releases smoke to the exhaust after that normally and has some unpleasant odor in the car, sort of like stale air when the fan comes on.

  • EMIN JELENIC says:

    Respected! I have opel zafiru b 2007g 1,9cdti
    The CHECK ENGINE light came on and I was diagnosed and the problem in the filter particle blew a little and the light went off but after a while it turned on again and now it constantly lights up when the engine turns on to solve the problem so that the light does not start again.

  • lidia says:

    i have golf 5 and my CHECK ENGINE light is on

  • Milan says:

    Hello everyone, I would like to ask you for your opinion on what could happen or if someone already had the same problem. I have an Opel Astra f 98 yr.1.6 16 valves and this light comes on and it goes out and it goes on again and so it goes out but at the same time my car shuts down when it starts and cuts….

  • Miodrag says:

    Imama Toyota Auris 2010 g 1.33.vti, error Check engine appeared, and on diagnostics showed malfunction of lambda probe. I bought a new lambda probe, replaced it but it still shows me the same error. Is it necessary after inserting a new Lamb. Do probes reset with diagnostics or turn off the lights?
    Greeting new member of

  • Branimir says:

    pozz i have the same problem on polo when i run over that light comes on and i lose gas as soon as i add gas the light goes off what to do

  • Jordan says:

    Greeting. Urgent solution required. Opel corsa 2002 god 1.2 motor gasoline. The light comes on sometimes, blinks a couple of times and goes out. I was thinking of going to the master but I didn't, I just thought the sensor was picking up. Yesterday I got into the car I normally start the car and the light on the stand was not flashing. I left the parking lot and the engine shut off as if it had run out of fuel. I tried to turn it on again, start running for 10 seconds and shut off. It was as if there was no air and the engine was bouncing. Igniting again, the lights flashed. The master keeping him on track is on the way. A month ago, a radio service was performed, after which I saw a few drops of oil under the car. I told him he says spin so he'll see when he comes back. The oil has been enough since then I check every day. And after the fire it was. Do you know what the breakdown is? And it happened 1 when I was burning, white gray smoke came out. I didn't pay attention then, it was about 10 below zero. You almost know what the problem is.

  • Marijana says:

    I am driving a 2018 skoda factory. The check engine light came on. The vehicle is gas-gas. I go to a car repair shop and drive her up to 50 km and she lights up again. They say the reason is poor fuel. I go to a car service where the car gas is switched off and I drive it a little, it turns on again. Is there a solution to shut it down and not start it often? I just can't believe fuel is bad everywhere.

  • Chess says:

    Suzuki sx4 2007 1.9 diesel. I have a problem, actually; the oil red lamp comes on and so it flashes for about 1 minute and goes out, then after a while the same thing again. Oil and filter put new. It shows nothing on the diagnosis. It doesn't bother the engine. Can anyone explain to me what the problem is ???

  • Shabby says:

    I have a suzuki sx4, 2007, 1.9dize
    My oil light comes on more often and flashes for about 1 minute and goes out. After a while the same again. New oil and filter installed. It shows nothing to diagnose. The car works normally. Can anyone tell me what the problem would be ??? Thanks

  • Daniel says:

    Respect! I have a problem with the Tuareg 3.0d V6 2008 year manual transmission. I've had a car by masters for 3 months now. The car breaks as it pulls everything works perfectly does not start any faults all services done nowhere no drop of oil engine dry as gunpowder, PROBLEM WHEN I START THE CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THE ENGINE IS COLD AFTER SOME 10 kilometers the car shuts down while driving 100 km per hour I can cover 30 km if
    I drive it, it goes out quickly after 10
    Km. The temperature does not exceed 90c
    And when the car is turned off, it will not start until it cools down, just vergla as if the battery is empty, after 20 minutes verbal normal and starts. Thanks in advance!!

  • I have an Audi 100 2.3, it has a problem with the ignition. Namely, when it is turned on, it works under low gas, after a while it gets a bigger turnaround.

  • zoran says:

    Please advice - help! I have a Polo 1.4. diesel, 2007 while driving, the heater light came on and flashed, and then the check engine light came on. What could be in question. Is it an EGR valve or something else.

  • Srdjan says:

    I turned on the light, the checker said they left the dpf filter off, clean the filter on these new cleaning machines, return the errors, drive for two days, turn on the yellow and red again for diagnostics, say the heater, replace the heater again, the same, and it's a car nisanx trail 2015 he knows what to do

  • ivan says:

    EGR software eliminated and CHECK ENGINe illuminated after 150 km.

  • Senate says:

    My eger light on the sprinter 651 engine comes on, but the flashing light doesn't stand on and a lot of mice hear the servo pump, what could it be, I have to drive 20000km to the house

  • military rajko says:

    I have a Nissan, Almera, petrol, 1.8 liters, 84kw / 114hp, 2001 year, QG18DE engine, N16, diagnostic error P0335. Crankshaft sensor-crankshaft position sensor circuit A replaced, The error has been removed so that it does not light up now. How long will it last and what should I be ready for in the near future. The master in the car service told me to prepare a chain set with a sprocket. I am asking for advice.

  • Nenad says:

    Opel Corsa C 1.2 2005 god. The light came on 2 months ago, I went to 5 diagnostics and they showed everything differently, but now, since I don't like to hear any rattling, banging and the like, the CHECK ENGIN light also bothers me. I changed the throttle valve, all possible filters, with all markings, auxiliary filters, probes both, coil, spark plugs, nozzles, checked the catalyst, each hose new master installed, I even changed the gas station..and turned on the light again… I thought to throw it into the Danube, the river is close to me .. If anyone knows or if he had a similar problem (and not 100%) let him help me ..

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