What to Do When Your Check Engine Light Comes On

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding why the check engine light comes on and its implications.
  • Immediate steps to take when your check engine light flashes.
  • Importance of professional diagnostics to uncover the root issue.
  • How to prevent future occurrences of the check engine light turning on.
  • The role of regular maintenance in keeping your vehicle in optimal condition.

When you’re behind the wheel, your car’s dashboard is the primary point of communication between you and your vehicle. All the more reason to pay attention to it at all times, especially if the check engine light comes on. 

The check engine light (CEL) is one you can’t ignore among the various signals and icons. It’s not just a trivial indicator; it’s your car’s cry for help that something is wrong. In this guide, we’ll be walking you through the possible problems your CEL may be telling you. 

For any car maintenance-related queries, feel free to contact our experts at Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin. Come in today, and let’s take care of your vehicle.

Why Does the Check Engine Light Come On?

The Check Engine Light can illuminate for various reasons ranging from trivial issues to severe problems that require immediate attention. This light is connected to your car’s onboard diagnostic system, which monitors the engine’s operation. 

Any irregularity this system detects results in the check engine light turning on. Common reasons for the check engine light include:

  • Faulty oxygen sensors.
  • Loose gas caps.
  • A failing catalytic converter.
  • Bad spark plugs.
  • A malfunctioning mass airflow sensor. 

Remember, some of these issues can lead to significant damage if not addressed promptly.

Immediate Steps to Take

Don’t panic when you see the check engine light come on. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Check for Serious Issues: Inspect for signs of serious issues, such as steam from the hood, irregular engine noises, or a noticeable reduction in performance. If you notice these signs, safely pull over and call for roadside assistance.
  • Tighten Your Gas Cap: An improperly secured gas cap can cause the CEL to light up. If your gas cap is loose, tightening it may solve the problem. After a few drives, if the light remains on, the issue could be something else.
  • Reduce Your Speed and Load: If there are no visible signs of a severe issue, reduce your speed and avoid heavy acceleration to decrease the strain on the engine until you can have the vehicle inspected.

Importance of Professional Diagnostics

While these steps can help you navigate the initial phase of a check engine light situation, getting professional diagnostics is crucial. Only a trained mechanic with the right tools can accurately diagnose the underlying issue causing the light to come on. 

Professional diagnostics ensure the root cause is addressed, preventing future occurrences and engine damage.

Remember that ignoring a flashing check engine light can result in significant repair costs. Hence, a timely visit to the mechanic can save you from potential headaches and expenses.

Preventing Future Occurrences of the Check Engine Light

Prevention is often the best cure. Regular maintenance prevents your check engine light from turning on unexpectedly. 

Here are some proactive measures you can take:

  • Regular Servicing: Ensure your vehicle is serviced according to the manufacturer’s schedule. Standard service includes checks and replacements of components that, if faulty, can trigger the CEL.
  • Prompt Repairs: Never postpone minor repairs, as they could lead to significant problems, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate.
  • Fuel Quality: Always use high-quality fuel and the type recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Poor-quality fuel can lead to engine problems, often indicated by a flashing CEL.
  • Professional Inspection: Have your car inspected by professionals regularly. They can detect and resolve issues before they become serious.

Understanding the Role of Maintenance

Maintenance goes beyond ensuring the smooth running of your vehicle. It also extends the life of your car and saves you from costly repairs. 

Keep your vehicle’s maintenance schedule on track by paying attention to your car’s needs and addressing issues as soon as they surface. This attention to detail will ensure your check engine light stays off and your vehicle stays on the road longer.

The Impact of Ignoring Your Check Engine Light

Often, drivers are tempted to ignore the check engine light, especially when the car seems to be running just fine. But doing so can have far-reaching consequences. Ignoring the CEL could mean exacerbating a minor issue that could have been resolved quickly, ultimately resulting in costly and extensive repairs.

Also, unaddressed engine issues can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, increased emissions, and even a potential breakdown. Your vehicle might also fail an emissions test if the problem causing the check engine light is not resolved. 

In some cases, it could also lead to irreversible engine damage. That’s why you should always pay attention to a lit check engine light, no matter how well the car operates.

The Power of Advanced Diagnostics

With the advancement of automotive technology, car diagnostics have become more sophisticated. Modern diagnostic tools can precisely identify the issue triggering the check engine light, saving you time and money on unnecessary repairs. 

These tools connect to the vehicle’s onboard computer system to read and interpret the error codes, providing the technician with valuable data about the car’s condition.

Apart from the initial diagnostic process, these tools can also monitor real-time data to assess other potential issues that might not be immediately apparent. 

By leveraging these advanced diagnostic tools, professional technicians can accurately and promptly resolve the problems, ensuring your check engine light turns off and stays off.


Now that you understand the importance of the check engine light and the steps to take when it comes on, it’s time to act. If your check engine light has been flashing, don’t ignore it. Ensure your vehicle gets the attention it deserves by seeking professional help.

Remember, when the check engine light comes on, it’s not just about addressing the immediate issue but also about taking preventative steps to avoid future problems. Regular maintenance is necessary, not an option, to keep your vehicle in optimal condition.
Your vehicle’s health is our top priority at Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin. Visit us today and let us handle your check engine light concerns.

The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist for New Owners

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the basics of car maintenance helps improve your vehicle’s longevity and performance.
  • Regular tire pressure, fluid levels, and battery life checks are essential.
  • Keeping a maintenance log can be beneficial for resale value and tracking what’s been done.
  • Know when to DIY and when to seek professional help.
  • Regular professional servicing is essential for the health of your car.

Congratulations on becoming a new car owner! Whether you’ve just taken home a new ride or a trusty used vehicle, knowing how to keep it in good shape is essential. 

This comprehensive car maintenance checklist will help you understand the basics, saving you from headaches. From mastering the art of oil changes to decoding the language of tire pressure, get ready to equip yourself with the essential knowledge that will keep your new ride running smoothly and your driving experience nothing short of extraordinary.

So before we get into the nitty-gritty, feel free to reach out to the experts at Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin. Our professionals are a treasure trove of knowledge and can offer excellent car care advice, products, and services.

The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist for New Owners

As a new car owner, understanding car maintenance can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Here’s a comprehensive checklist to keep your car in peak condition.

Regularly Check Your Car’s Fluids

Your car runs on various fluids – oil, coolant, brake, transmission, and power steering. Regular checks ensure these vital fluids are at their correct levels, preventing possible damage.

Keep an Eye on Your Tires

Tires are crucial to your car’s performance and safety. Maintain the recommended tire pressure and regularly check for wear and tear. Remember to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles to ensure even wear.

Monitor the Battery

Your car’s battery is the heartbeat of your vehicle. Keep tabs on its health by checking for corrosion on terminals and ensuring it’s adequately charged.

Listen for Strange Noises

Unusual noises could signal trouble. From engine knocks to brake squeals, listen out for sounds that don’t feel normal. These could be early warning signs of problems.

Clean and Protect Your Car’s Exterior

Regularly washing and waxing your car keeps it looking good and protects against rust and other damages.

Don’t Ignore the Warning Lights

Your car’s warning lights are not to be ignored. They’re designed to alert you when something needs your attention. If a warning light illuminates, get it checked out as soon as possible.

Keep a Maintenance Log

A maintenance log can reference what’s been done and when the next service is due. It can also do wonders for your car’s resale value as a well kept record is attractive to potential buyers.

Check Your Car’s Belts and Hoses

Belts and hoses are integral to your car’s functioning. If they’re worn or damaged, they can lead to serious engine trouble. Regularly inspect them for signs of wear and tear and replace them as necessary.

Monitor Your Brakes

Your car’s braking system is crucial for your own safety as well as your passengers and pedestrians. Keep an ear out for any unusual noises when braking, and check your brake pads and discs regularly for wear. If you notice any changes, it’s best to seek professional advice.

Replace Windshield Wipers and Keep the Windscreen Clean

Visibility is paramount when driving. Keep your windscreen clean and ensure your wipers are in good condition. Get them replaced if they start to leave streaks on your windshield.

Inspect Your Lights

Regularly check your car’s headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and interior lights. Replace burned-out bulbs promptly to ensure you can see and be seen on the road.

Change Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter can drastically reduce your car’s efficiency and limit its ability to ‘breathe’. Check your air filter during each oil change, and replace it every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

Regularly Clean the Interior

Keeping your car’s interior clean can contribute to a better driving experience. Regular cleaning can also help preserve the internal surfaces and maintain your car’s resale value.

Stay Current with Recalls

Car manufacturers sometimes issue recalls for specific models due to safety concerns or defects. Keep your contact details up-to-date with your car’s manufacturer so you can be notified of any recalls.

Schedule Regular Professional Check-ups

Regular professional check-ups are essential even if you’re diligently following your car maintenance checklist. They can spot potential problems before they become severe issues, keeping your car running smoothly and safely.

Effective car maintenance combines regular self-checks, preventive care, and professional servicing. Treat your car well, and it’ll reward you with reliable performance and longevity.

Maintaining Your Car

One essential factor to remember is that car maintenance isn’t a one-time task. It’s a continuous commitment that pays dividends in the long term. Car maintenance should be considered part of the car ownership journey, not just an occasional chore.

Regular maintenance and check-ups ensure your vehicle stays reliable, efficient, and safe for years. By diligently adhering to the car maintenance checklist, you’re not just prolonging the life of your car but also ensuring its optimal performance.


Understanding and implementing proper car maintenance practices is vital for every car owner. It’s not just about keeping your car running smoothly; it’s also about ensuring your safety on the road, preserving your car’s value, and even preventing costly repairs in the future.

While this comprehensive car maintenance checklist is a great starting point, it’s not exhaustive. There’s always more to learn, and every car is unique. However, by incorporating these essential tasks into your routine, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a car maintenance pro.

Ready to take the next step in your car maintenance journey? Visit us at Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin today. Our team of experts are happy to assist you with any queries or concerns. Let’s ensure your car gets the care it deserves.

The Importance of Regular Car Battery Maintenance

Key Takeaways

  • Regular car battery maintenance is crucial for ensuring the vehicle’s optimal performance and long-term reliability.
  • Neglected car batteries may lead to sudden breakdowns, hampering your routine and possibly causing costly repairs.
  • Checking the battery’s condition, ensuring a clean and tight connection, checking for corrosion, and timely replacements can save you from inconveniences.
  • Car dealerships offer professional battery maintenance services, which can provide a comprehensive care plan for your vehicle.

One of the primary factors influencing the reliability and longevity of your car is an element that most drivers often overlook – the car battery. Regular maintenance of this crucial component ensures smooth journeys and keeps unforeseen breakdowns at bay. 

So, before you end up stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery, it’s worth knowing the importance of regular car battery maintenance. 

If you need professional help with your battery maintenance, look no further than Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin. Our team of experts are always ready to assist you! 

Why Regular Car Battery Maintenance is Crucial

The car battery is akin to the heart of your vehicle; it breathes life into the various electrical components, including the ignition system, engine control unit, and accessories like radio and lights. 

A neglected car battery can become unreliable over time, potentially leading to situations where your car refuses to start, which can be a massive inconvenience.

Batteries naturally degrade over time, with their performance gradually declining until they eventually need to be replaced. Regular checks can help you gauge the battery’s health, predict when a replacement might be required, and help prevent unexpected breakdowns.

Components of Car Battery Maintenance

The most critical aspect of car battery maintenance involves regular inspections for any signs of wear and tear or corrosion. These typically manifest as a white or greenish powdery substance on the terminals, and if not cleaned, can spread elsewhere. 

Corrosion on the battery terminals can lead to a weak connection between the battery and the electrical system, affecting the car’s overall performance. Regular cleaning and applying a corrosion prevention spray can keep your car battery in optimal condition.

Next, ensuring the battery terminals are tightly connected is crucial. A loose connection can lead to an inconsistent power supply, affecting the functioning of electrical components and even preventing the car from starting. 

Also, routinely checking the battery’s charge level can prevent sudden failure. Regular car battery maintenance isn’t just about the battery itself but also its surrounding components. For instance, the battery tray should be regularly inspected to ensure it’s secure and not corroded.

Save on Long-Term Costs

While regular car battery maintenance may seem like an unnecessary hassle, it could save you money in the long term. 

Imagine breaking down in the middle of a journey and needing to pay for a tow truck or emergency battery replacement. These costs are significantly higher than the required minor investment for regular maintenance.

Moreover, a poorly maintained car battery can strain other vehicle parts, such as the alternator and starter motor. This undue stress could lead to their premature failure, translating to expensive repairs.

How Often Should You Check and Replace Your Car Battery?

The frequency of car battery checks can vary based on several factors, such as the car’s age, driving conditions, and weather. As a general guideline, having your battery professionally inspected at least once a year is advisable. This can be done during your vehicle’s routine servicing.

Typically, car batteries last between three and five years, but this lifespan can be shorter due to harsh weather conditions, frequent short trips, or excessive power usage when the engine is off. 

Regular checks are essential to avoid unexpected breakdowns if your battery is nearing or has surpassed this age range.

Professional Car Battery Maintenance Services

While there are simple maintenance checks that car owners can perform themselves, such as visual inspections for corrosion or leaks, many components of battery maintenance are best left to professionals. 

Dealerships and garages offer comprehensive battery services, including testing the battery’s condition, cleaning terminals, checking the charging system, and more.

Professional technicians have the expertise and equipment to conduct thorough inspections and timely interventions, ensuring your car battery remains in top condition. 

Plus, they can provide valuable advice on prolonging the battery’s lifespan and maximizing its performance.

Importance of Regular Maintenance in a Nutshell

In essence, regular car battery maintenance is about ensuring the reliability of your vehicle. It can help avoid unexpected and inconvenient breakdowns, save you money in the long run, and contribute to the longevity of your car. Although it might seem tedious, the benefits certainly outweigh the effort involved.

The Role of Car Batteries in Fuel Efficiency

Your car battery plays a significant role in the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle. A poorly performing battery forces the alternator to work harder to keep the battery charged. This additional work increases the load on the engine, resulting in more fuel consumption.

Therefore, a well-maintained battery contributes to better fuel efficiency, reducing your environmental footprint and saving you money at the fuel pump. 

This fact further underscores the importance of regular car battery maintenance as it has implications for your vehicle’s performance, wallet, and environment.

Safety Aspects of a Well-Maintained Car Battery

There’s also a safety element associated with regular car battery maintenance. Imagine if your battery dies while driving at night, resulting in a complete loss of light. 

Or if your battery fails in the middle of nowhere, leaving you stranded in a potentially unsafe situation. Both scenarios can be avoided with proper and regular car battery maintenance.

Also, a failing battery can lead to an inconsistent power supply to the various electronic systems in your vehicle. This could impact crucial safety systems, including anti-lock braking and power steering. 

Thus, ensuring your battery is in good health contributes significantly to your safety on the road.


The well-being of your car lies in your hands. Regular car battery maintenance is integral to overall vehicle care that no car owner should overlook. 

So, don’t wait for a breakdown to remind you of the importance of this vital practice. Take action today and guarantee yourself smooth, worry-free drives in the future.

Ready to take your car battery maintenance to the next level? Visit us at Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin today. We offer expert vehicle care services to help your car perform its best, ensuring you never have to worry about unexpected battery issues. After all, peace of mind is just a well-maintained battery away.

2023 Dodge Durango towing

What Interior Features Make the 2023 Dodge Durango a Perfect Family Car?  

Interior Features of the 2023 Dodge Durango  

The 2023 Dodge Durango is a remarkable choice when finding the perfect family car. Combining stylish design, advanced technology, and versatile functionality, this SUV caters to the diverse needs of modern families. In this article by Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin, we’ll explore the interior features that make the 2023 Dodge Durango an ideal companion for family adventures.  

Read the rest of this entry >>
Front view of the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

How efficient is the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid in Herrin, IL?  

Explore the Engine and Efficiency of the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid   

In the ever-evolving automotive landscape, the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a beacon of innovation, fusing advanced engineering with unparalleled efficiency. This unique masterpiece introduces a hybrid powertrain that seamlessly interlinks performance and sustainability, revolutionizing how we perceive modern minivans. At Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin in IL, we explore the engine and efficiency features of the 2023 Pacifica Hybrid. Read on to learn more.  

Read the rest of this entry >>