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Don't ignore your truck's check engine light

When you spend a lot of time in a garage making truck modifications, you get to know the ins and outs of your off-road vehicle. While this intimate knowledge may help you figure out the right truck suspension or what special features can best enhance your vehicle, it doesn't take the place of regular maintenance and cannot completely prevent repair incidents that often pop up. Some unavoidable occurrences include when the check engine light of your truck starts glowing, letting you know that it is time to take an extra look at what's going on under the hood. 

If the check engine light flicks on, there are a few processes that you should go through. It is especially important that you do not avoid the notification, as you never know what it could be signifying. 

Don't ignore the light
A check engine light will turn on if the truck itself recognizes that something may be amiss. A flashing check engine light may be the sign of a more severe problem - perhaps even one that requires immediate attention - whereas a glowing light is much more common and can be taken care of in due time.

"When the check engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "A glowing check engine light doesn't mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible." 

What to do 
If you're the type of owner who wants to take control of the auto repair, you can take several steps to fix any problem that may have triggered the alert. The first step of this process involves examining the vehicle to see if there was some kind of previous oversight that led to the alert. For example, it could mean that there is a loose gas cap, low fluid level or faulty sensor.

Once you've thoroughly looked at the engine, as well as other basic areas of concern, you should move to a more intense check. That next step would be to employ a diagnostic scanning tool to pinpoint exactly where the problem is, which may require a visit to a repair shop.