Whether you drive a Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, or Volkswagen, there is nothing more concerning than starting your vehicle and seeing the “check engine” light illuminate. This occurrence often causes immediate panic because it can mean hundreds of things could be wrong with the car.

The stress of a check engine light may be tempered for those whose vehicles are under warranty, knowing they will not have to pay for repairs covered by their manufacturer’s agreement.

But, what happens if you take your vehicle to the dealership or certified mechanic and the light does not go out? While the technician may attempt to tell you nothing is wrong with your car, except the light will not go off, there is significant cause for concern.

Our California lemon law attorney explains why this is a problem.

Check Engine Light

Why is My Car’s Check Engine Light on if There is Nothing Wrong?

An illuminated check engine light that won’t go out is a cause for concern because it indicates a problem with your vehicle’s engine or emission control system. The check engine light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics system, and when it stays illuminated, it means that the system has detected a fault or malfunction.

That may include:

  • Undiagnosed Issues

The check engine light is a general warning that something is wrong with the vehicle. It doesn’t specify the exact problem but signals the need for further diagnostics. It is up to the dealership to diagnose the situation appropriately — not you.

  • Emission Control System Problems

The check engine light often indicates issues with the emission control system, which can contribute to increased emissions and environmental pollution. This may mean your vehicle will not pass an emission test in California, so you cannot register your vehicle. This is a significant problem that the dealership cannot ignore as “nothing.”

  • Potential for Further Damage

Some problems that trigger the check engine light may escalate if not addressed promptly the first time it is taken to the dealership. If left unresolved, a minor issue could lead to more extensive damage to the engine or related components.

  • Performance Issues

An illuminated check engine light can be an early warning sign of future performance issues. If the dealership cannot fix the problem, it can lead to reduced engine power, rough idling, or other drivability problems.

  • Safety Concerns

Sometimes, the issues triggering the check engine light may impact vehicle safety. For example, problems with the engine control system could affect braking or acceleration, posing a safety risk.

How Long Has Your Check Engine Light Been a Problem the Dealership Cannot Fix?

An illuminated check engine light is a legitimate concern and should never be brushed off as “nothing” but a problem with the lamp. According to the California Lemon Law, if your vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty and cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts — including issues that persist with an illuminated check engine light — you may be entitled to a legal remedy that fits your needs.

We can help.

Contact our experienced Los Angeles County lemon law attorney at Shainfeld Law, P.C., today by calling (310)-295-1888 or request a free consultation online.