A Guide to Understanding Your Vehicle’s Check Engine and Warning Lights

Vehicle's Check Engine and Warning Lights

The check engine light is never the most welcome of sights, as it can make its presence known for myriad reasons with varying degrees of severity. Simply put, when that dreaded light appears, it's often time to bring your car to a service centre for an engine diagnosis, if not for maintenance or repair. That said, before assuming the worst and contacting Wood Wheaton to get your engine cared for, here are a few tips to run your own prognosis upon sight of the check engine light.

What do Your Car's Check Engine Light Colours Mean in Terms of Maintenance?

You don't have to be a mechanic to understand the severity of whatever turned your check engine light on - even if the exact cause thereof escapes you - as it appears in either red, orange or yellow, depending on what's ailing it. A blinking or red check engine light means you should get your car to a service centre with minimal delay, while yellow and orange aren't usually as serious, although still worthy of treating your car to a diagnosis and some maintenance.

What Are the Most Likely Diagnoses When Your Check Engine Light Comes On?

If that dreaded light comes on right after you've left a gas station, you'll likely spare yourself a trip to our service centre, since that usually means your gas cap is loose. Other common, more serious causes include a faulty oxygen sensor - which reduces gas mileage and could damage the catalytic converter if the engine isn't cared for - a worn out spark plug, which hinders the vehicle's acceleration, and an overheated engine, often due to a corroded or leaking coolant. Wood Wheaton service centre will happily carry out any and all of these potential engine-related repairs.

Deciphering and Understand Check Engine Codes

A check engine code essentially acts as an abridged diagnosis of whatever has caused the engine light to come on and usually appears in the form of a letter followed by four digits. Commonly seen letters include P (Powertrain), B (Body), C (Chassis), and U (Network), and are usually followed by the number 0 for everything generic or 1 if the code is unique to a manufacturer. The all-important next number will fall between 1 and 8 to indicate which part of the car requires maintenance or repair, be it fuel metering, transmission, or a variety of areas in between. The final two digits account for the fault code, meaning the specific defect.

If your car is experiencing such trouble, contact Wood Wheaton in Prince George, BC and let our service centre handle everything from maintenance to diagnosis to repairs.

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Wood Wheaton Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC Ltd.

2879 Highway 16 West
Directions Prince George, BC V2N 0A3

  • Sales: 250-564-4466
  • Service: 250-649-7480
  • Parts: 250-649-7490


  • Monday 8AM - 6PM
  • Tuesday 8AM - 6PM
  • Wednesday 8AM - 6PM
  • Thursday 8AM - 6PM
  • Friday 8AM - 6PM
  • Saturday 8AM - 6PM
  • Sunday Closed
  1. Wood Wheaton Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC Ltd.

    2879 Highway 16 West
    Prince George, BC V2N 0A3

    • Sales: 250-564-4466
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