Your Check Engine Light Is Not A Suggestion

It’s a typical August morning – traffic is awful, every radio station is only playing commercials, and by 7am, the temperature outside has already reached 83 degrees. The day seems to be trudging along just like any other, until suddenly, you notice your check engine light click on right as you merge onto the highway.

In this situation, you really only have two options:

  1. Carefully find an exit and get your car to the nearest mechanic.
  2. Be an idiot.

When this happened to me a matter of days ago, the choice was easy – I did not want to have my only way of getting to and from work to go up in flames, so I quickly rushed (and probably broke a few traffic laws) to turn myself around and got my car to a mechanic that I knew could save that good ol’ Camry.

Luckily, because I wasn’t an idiot and got my car some help fast, I narrowly avoided an engine fire, and the heartache of having to replace those wheels that have gotten me just about everywhere – from driving to high school, college, and now around Music City.

I thought this was common knowledge – when your check engine light appears, you take care of it ASAP. Apparently, not many people feel that way.

After sharing my story with coworkers and peers, turns out, many of them have driven around with their check engine lights blaring for weeks, some even for months. They see the check engine light as more of a suggestion, and less of a warning that your car is about to kick the metaphorical bucket.

However, when I asked how their cars still ran this long with the light on, they were quick to tell me that the cars had in fact died, and were ruined beyond repair.

My point exactly.

The next time your check engine light clicks on, weigh your options. Yes, you may have to drop a few hundred unexpected dollars that day to fix your car, but if you simply ignore that helpful hint, you could be knee deep in trouble when your car decides rush hour traffic would be a great time to start a bonfire.


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