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Why 29% of drivers ignore ‘Check Engine’ light

Did you know 29% of drivers admit to ignoring the ‘Check Engine’ light for over a week? The International Drivers Association team sheds light on the dangers of neglecting this critical warning signal and encourages proactive vehicle maintenance.

Why 29% of Drivers Ignore the ‘Check Engine’ Light

“Too many motorists today simply dismiss the ‘check engine’ light. It’s a warning, not a suggestion,” warns Dominic Wyatt, a motoring expert at the International Drivers Association (IDA). Wyatt has spent decades in the motoring world, and time and again, he has seen drivers ignore this crucial alert until it’s too late. Here, we delve into the ten most common reasons people choose to disregard their check engine light, each one coupled with Wyatt’s advice and explanation.

1. The Fear Factor

Often, drivers fear the costs associated with potential repairs, opting to ignore the check engine light rather than face expensive fixes. Wyatt advises, “Letting a small problem grow into a big one will always cost more in the long run.”

2. Lack of Understanding

Many motorists aren’t sure what the check engine light really signifies. “Education is critical. The check engine light means your car’s computer system has detected a problem that could affect your vehicle’s emissions systems,” explains Wyatt.

3. Busy Lives

According to Wyatt, many drivers cite hectic schedules as a reason to ignore warning lights: “Despite daily use, regular maintenance of our vehicles often falls to the wayside because we’re just so busy.”

4. The Warning Light Cry-Wolf

When the check engine light flickers inconsistently, some drivers take it as a false alarm and ignore it. Wyatt counters, “Even if the light goes off, the fault code is stored in the car’s computer memory. Have it examined promptly.”

5. The ‘It Feels Fine’ Syndrome

Drivers may continue to ignore the check engine light if they don’t notice any difference in the way the vehicle operates. Wyatt argues, “Just because a car ‘feels fine’ doesn’t mean an issue isn’t brewing.”

6. Risk Misjudgment

Some drivers believe the issue causing the check engine light isn’t severe. Wyatt says, “All alerts, even seemingly minor ones, should be met with immediate attention.”

7. Ordinary Negligence

Wyatt notes that simple negligence is a common reason for ignoring the check engine light: “It’s about responsibility. Your vehicle’s safe functioning isn’t just your concern, but a safety matter for all road users.”

8. Skepticism About Car Technology

Some drivers, particularly older ones, mistrust modern car technology. Wyatt insists, “Modern in-car technology exists to assist and protect us. Let’s make good use of it.”

9. Habitual Behavior

Habitual offenders tend to disregard the check engine light regularly. Wyatt recommends, “We all can start making better decisions at any point. It’s never too late.”

10. False Sense of Vehicle Immunity

Some drivers feel their vehicle is immune to any major issues because of its brand or model. Wyatt dismisses this as a myth: “No vehicle is immune to problems. All machines require regular maintenance.”

We hope this breakdown has clarified why drivers might ignore the ‘check engine’ light and made clear the value of heeding it. Wyatt concludes by stating, “Servicing your vehicle at the first sign of trouble not only prevents more costly repairs but also ensures safety on the road. You owe it to yourself and to everyone on the road with you.”

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