A healthy engine is a guarantee of safety and a longer span of a vehicle. We are living in an era where vehicles are more digitalized than they used to be, making it possible to pinpoint a problem within the vehicle without physically visiting the garage. Vehicles are armed with revolutionary digital systems that are able to detect emissions-related problems.
The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or commonly known as the CHECK ENGINE light is a signal that most automobiles give once a problem in a vehicle is detected. It appears as a red or amber icon that illuminates on your dashboard once a malfunction is detected in the engine room. The MIL is symbolized by a pictogram of an engine on the dashboard or CHECK ENGINE label. Vehicles are equipped with a computerized system called the On Board Diagnostics II (OBD II) that is responsible for turning on the MIL on once an engine problem is detected, emission control system or transmission.
If you have ever wondered how you do turn on the MIL or CHECK ENGINE light it’s really simple. Anytime you turn on the engine or start the engine, the MIL will automatically be turned on or be illuminated. This does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your engine so there is no reason to panic. The MIL illuminates continuously once you have ignited your vehicle to indicate that the MIL light is functioning properly and it’s supposed to go off once the engine starts running. If the MIL does not illuminate continuously after starting the engine, a system tampering or engine light bulb is indicated. If you notice that the MIL is still on even after the engine is running, then that’s a warning light that most probably you have a malfunction somewhere.
Assuming that the MIL is still on even after the engine is running what does that mean? The PCM detects a trouble and it is recorded in the computer’s memory as a diagnostic trouble code (DTC). The more faults a vehicle has means multiple fault codes recorded. If the MIL lights appear occasionally it’s a sign of temporary engine malfunction. A constant MIL light indicates a more serious issue that needs to be addressed. When the MIL light keeps on flashing all the time it means that the engine is misfiring and it’s risky. An OBD II scantool is used to diagnose the fault and turn off the MIL.