Is Your Check Engine Light On?
While your Check Engine light does not usually indicate there is a major problem or catastrophe about to happen, you shouldn't ignore it. You should immediately check your temperature gauge for overheating and check your engine oil level just to be safe. In most cases, it is a minor problem related to sensors or other system electronics that can easily be fixed.
Don't Panic! You probably know your automobile pretty well and if there are no evident signs in your cars performance that lead you to believe there is a major failure, you are probably safe to schedule a visit.
Service Engine Soon
Service Engine Soon lights generally mean you have maintenance due. Scheduled maintenance can be a number of things like oil changes, tire rotations, air filters, etc. This is generally the case with lower mileage, newer cars. They can also include more serious preventative maintenance on older model cars with higher mileage. For these situations, the best advice is to check your owners manual for scheduled preventative maintenance. Items like timing belt replacements should not be put off. These oversights can lead to very serious consequences. It is ALWAYS recommended to follow your cars preventative maintenance schedule and replace any parts according to the manufacturers specifications and suggestions. Remember, they have an extreme amount of time, money and endless resources testing their automobiles for system failures to ensure it doesn't happen to "You" the consumer.