What the check engine light means?
As mentioned earlier, the main reason why the light was introduced in the first place was to try and keep engines as efficient as possible. When you first start the engine, the light should illuminate for a few seconds to verify that the bulb is working. You should replace the bulb if you don't see it come on during start-up. If the light stays on after start-up, it indicates that the computer has noticed a fault somewhere and stored a code in memory to help identify the problem.
Some common reasons for the light to come on include faulty spark plugs, malfunctioning engine sensors, or even a loose gas cap. Check the gas cap first and ensure that it is fully tightened. If the gas cap doesn't appear to be the issue, you'll need to hook up a scan tool to the car and read the code to understand more of what's going on. Usually the issue is fairly minor, but this warning light should never be ignored as small issues tend to develop into bigger, more costly ones, if neglected.
If the check engine light comes on:
Check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating. These conditions mean you should pull over and shut off the engine as soon as you can find a safe place to do so.
Is it safe to drive with the check engine light on?
Even if this light is on, it doesn't mean that the fault is currently happening. Certain faults may only happen every now and then, but the light will remain illuminated until certain parameters have been met. Usually, this involves driving the car normally and if no fault has been detected for a while, the computer will turn off the light automatically. It's always best to have the light checked out, but sometimes driving normally for a few days can shut the light off and you won't see it again.If you are able to notice a difference in how the car drives, then it is likely the light won't turn off until the issue has been resolved and you should not ignore this warning in this situation.