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Engine Issues

Provided by howstuffworks
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It's a day like any other. You buckle into your car and start the engine. As you’re about to drive off, you notice that the check engine light is on. This could mean a number of things, but there are a few common reasons you should be aware of first. Here’s what they are and what you should do about them.

What’s It Mean?

The Check Engine light (also known as a Malfunction Indicator Light, MIL) usually means there's a problem with the vehicle’s emissions system. If the onboard computer gets a reading that's a bit out of whack, the check engine light comes on.

Anything from a loose gas cap to a faulty oxygen sensor can also trigger the check engine light. It might also mean a malfunction in the electronic engine control system, electronic throttle control, electronic transmission control system or something else.

What To Do

Check to make sure your gas cap is on. To be sure, give it a few clicks to tighten it up. After checking to make sure everything is in order, the light should turn off after you’ve started driving a bit. If it doesn’t, head to a Toyota service center to have it looked at.

Don’t put off getting your engine checked. Even if the car is driving fine, you may be wasting fuel, putting out a lot of pollution or damaging the engine. Neglecting a minor issue could lead to bigger problems down the road.

For more on this, please visit the Dashboard Indicators page or the Owner’s Manual section. If you’re currently driving with your check engine light on, please schedule service to avoid complications.