What is Check Engine Light Symbol and Meaning?


When you are driving your car and suddenly you see a symbol that looks like the image below then it is a check engine light symbol. If it appears on your car dashboard then there might be some problem with your engine. In that, you have to stop your car and try to find out what is the problem with your engine and why this light illuminates. In this post, we will discuss everything about the check engine light symbol and its meanings and what to do to remove that warning symbol from your dashboard.

Check Engine Light Symbol

Engine Warning Light ( Check Engine Light)

The symbol above in the form of an engine is called a check engine light symbol. And this symbol illuminates on your car’s dashboard when there is a problem with your engine and that problem may be a loose gas cap or a serious problem. You can’t ingore that symbol, when you encounter that symbol please consult with your mechanic and know why it is coming. If you are a DIY enthusiast then you can also diagnose the problem on your side and solve it but If you are unable to find out the cause then you can visit your mechanic immediately.

Check Engine Light Meaning

Check engine light appears when a problem occurs with the systems attached to the engine. When you see the check engine light symbol then you must diagnose the various problems that are responsible for its illumination.

The check engine light appears when there is a problem with either one or more of the following

The catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, Ignition Coil and spark plug, mass airflow sensor, loose fuel cap or gas cap, fuel injectors, thermostat, powertrain control module (PCM)

Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light Comes On

1. Engine Problem

Most of the time when you have an engine problem, it lights your check engine light. Most commonly this problem shows up because of poor fuel economy. The Various engine problems responsible for checking engine lights are

  • Extremely low oil pressure: When the oil pressure of your engine is low then this light illuminates and is accompanied by an engine oil light.
  • High-speed Driving: When you drive at high speed for a long time this light flares on your dashboard.
  • Towing heavy loads: If you are towing with heavy loads, this puts a strain on your engine and shows a warning light.
  • Engine misfire: When your engine misfire, in that case, you see the engine check light on the dashboard.

2. Transmission Problems

When you have some problems with your transmission(Most commonly slipping transmission) and this results in poor transmission of power from the engine to the wheels, your control module detects it and lit your engine light

3. Faulty Emissions Equipment

Vehicles of today’s world have many emission equipment which includes, an exhaust gas circulation system, evaporative emission system and the catalytic converter. All these parts are used to minimise the emissions of the tailpipe and increase the overall fuel economy. If there is a fault in these systems then check engine light appears on your dashboard.

A loose gas cap or the fuel cap is also responsible for check engine light.

4. Ignition System Problems

The ignition system generally includes the battery, ignition coil, spark plug, alternator, etc, If there is a problem with any one of these parts like a bad spark plug, faulty ignition coil or your battery is not charging then you will see engine check light.

5. Faulty Modules and Sensors

Your car has so many sensors like oxygen sensors, mass air flow sensors, etc. Your engine control unit (ECU) monitors these sensors for the optimum function of the engine. If a problem comes in these sensors then your check engine light appears.

The problem may be loose wiring of the oxygen sensor or a fault in the oxygen sensor, clogging of mass air flow sensor. The oxygen sensor measures the quantity of unburnt oxygen in the exhaust and gives information to your ECU, The ECU utilise this information to adjust the air fuel mixture ratio. If the oxygen sensor is not working properly then more fuel is burnt in the engine than required and this results in poor fuel economy.

6. Overheating Problem

If your engine coolant is not changed for a long time then this will make your thermostat malfunction and make your engine overheat. Due to this your engine check light is turned on with the temperature gauge on your dashboard.

When you encounter this problem, immediately stop driving your car and call your mechanic to see what is the problem and sort out it first. There are some repairs that the insurance company does not cover.


In the above, we have discussed what is Check Engine Light symbol, its meaning, why it appears on our car’s dashboard, and what you have to do when you encounter it. I hope you have understand everything about it. If you found this piece of info useful then don’t forget to like and share it.

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