Check Engine Light On in Your Car? The Truth About What it Means

one, two, three, four!

Rev up your engines!

It's time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel.

Today I'm going to tell you the truth about check engine light when they come on in your


Now a lot of people see a check engine light and they freak out.

Now it can be a serious problem or it can be something that hardly means anything at

all, here's how you find out.

You get a scan tool, then you go to the OBD port, and you plug it in so it can read the


And in this case, being a GM product, you can see there's 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 different


Which on the surface of it is very odd because the car's actually running well.

Now the first code is for an erratic wheel speed sensor on the right rear tire.

Now that I know because the ABS light comes on and off every once in a while.

So it's a problem with the ABS sensor back there probably.

Now many people will live with that because ABS brakes revert to non ABS normal brakes

when they go out.

Or you could buy an expensive hub assembly because you have to buy the whole hub with

the sensor in it for this car.

Now the next two codes are ABS codes as well.

This one and this one so we can ignore them if we don't care about the ABS.

But this code here P0014 is a code for the variable valve timing system while often gets

a little bit weak on these cars for a various reasons.

When this code trips if the car runs OK, you can just ignore it.

Now if it starts running bad, you can do things like:

Change the engine oil, dirty engine oil can do that.

Change the camshaft sensor assembly, because they can go bad.

Or sometimes you have to replace the entire CAM assembly.

But if it runs OK, it's something you can live with.

P0013 code is also one of those CAM timing codes, same basic thing.

Now here's a trick I've been doing for years.

With all those codes, and since it runs OK, first thing I'm going to do is erase them

all, and drive it.

We'll just go to erase codes, and press enter and erase the codes.

It's doing it's thing, erasing the codes.

Now they are erased and none of them exist.

And as you can see, the lights are off now so we will take it for a drive.

Now the ABS light has come back on.

So I know there is a problem this that system but with all the codes that it had, the customer

really does not want to fix it, stops good enough.

He can take the fuse out and just disconnect the ABS entirely and just go back to normal


But as you can see, the check engine light has not come back on.

So in this case, the other codes for the CAM, they are not serious codes since they did

not come back on after a drive for an hour.

Now they may come and go as you drive the car over months, but if the car runs ok, it's

not going to hurt anything driving it that way.

But if the code comes back on or the check engine light is flashing while you are driving,

then it's a serious problem.

Just realize that the computer is always checking your car and if it finds a problem exists,

it will turn the check engine light on again.

But if while driving it turns it off and it comes on again later, it's finding a problem

that is a minor problem, and I would not worry about it until it becomes more serious.

Because I have seen people spend thousands of dollars trying to track down a problem

in their car, when instead if they would have waited weeks or months, sometimes years, for

the problem to actually get big enough that it was a permanent code and it was easy to

trace down, rather than spend a much of money on parts that did not even fix the problem

because they were guessing.

Yes sometimes patients is a virtue, even with check engine lights.

And remember, if you have any car questions, just visit the Scotty Kilmer Channel.