If you are like most car owners, you get behind the wheel each day, turn the key, and expect everything to turn on like normal. Then, driving along, you glance at the dash and notice a warning light is on. Even if there is no rattling noise or other signs of trouble, you should still get the light checked. Keep reading to learn why.

A Warning Light Is Often the First Sign of Trouble

Sure, you might be able to ignore a warning light at first. After all, if it isn’t accompanied by worrying engine noise, there’s probably nothing wrong. Right? Unfortunately, that type of thinking can cause significant engine trouble.

Waiting for pinging or rattling noise to appear before checking out the cause of a warning light can lead to several problems. First, you could seriously damage an engine system, such as the exhaust or transmission, leading to an otherwise avoidable costly repair. That doesn’t even consider the loss of use of your vehicle. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check a warning light as soon as it appears.

Some Lights Provide Critical Reminders

Not all dashboard lights are signs of trouble. For example, most cars today have onboard reminders for routine maintenance. These will usually appear a few hundred miles before your next engine service is due. Some turn off after a few minutes, and others stay lit while you are driving. Sure, you could head online to search for a way to override these lights, but then you might push your next service appointment off beyond safe limits or even void your factory warranty.

Lights Indicate Operating Features

It’s a good idea to become familiar with the lights on your dashboard. In addition to letting you know which ones are benign and which serve as a warning, some lights also indicate features. If they go off without you noticing, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.

In cars with many features, it can be tough to track what’s turned on and what isn’t. Luckily, some lights let you know about features operating on your vehicle. For example, if you tow a trailer, you may see an indicator for towing mode on the dashboard. Lane departure and traction control systems sometimes also indicate operation with an illuminated icon. Ignoring them too much can lead to you missing when they turn off.

A Diagnostic Scan Is Quick and Simple

While simplicity probably shouldn’t be the deciding factor when you take your car in for engine service, it certainly makes it an easier call. In most cases, a computerized diagnostic scan can be done quickly and inexpensively. After completing it, we can go over the results and explain what they mean and what repairs are recommended based on them.

Check Your Warning Lights Before You Hear a Rattling Noise

Don’t wait for troubling engine noise to schedule a service. Chandler & Sons Automotive offers comprehensive diagnostic and repair services for most vehicles. Contact us today at 703-437-7300 to find out what that warning light is trying to tell you about your car.