how many miles can you drive with check engine light on

How Many Miles Can You Drive with Check Engine Light On?

How many miles can you drive with the check engine light on? This is a question most drivers ask themselves when they notice the check engine light come on in their dashboard and they are not yet ready to diagnose or check what the problem is that triggered the check engine light to come on in the first place.  This post is going to help you understand at different situations how long you should drive with check engine light on.

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How many miles can you drive with check engine light on

The central point is that there is no specific number of miles that you can drive with the check engine light of your vehicle on. How long you can go depends on the urgency and how serious the problem in question is and the degree to which it is affecting the performance of the vehicle.

Given the fact that the check engine light of your vehicle is connected to its Onboard-Diagnostics-System and is indicative of the internal health of the car, it becomes a sensation, and having to drive with it on could be disastrous and bring about a sense of danger for the driver.

However, there are ways to figure out if it is safe for you to drive your vehicle when its check engine light is on.

How to know if it safe to drive with check engine light on

To know if it safe to drive with check engine light on, the first step is to determine if the problem indicated by the illumination of the check engine light requires urgent attention.

Your dashboard may show lubrication or overheating issues. Pullover to have them checked. Some vehicles are configured to give red lights as dangers demanding an immediate response, and yellow lights as warning signals. 

Whatever is the case, the bottom line is to assess the magnitude of the problems to decide if you can continue driving or not.

Second, if the problem is affecting the performance of the vehicle, the best thing to do is to reduce your speed and lower the pressure on the engine.

Third, you can also check your gas cap especially if the check engine lights got turned on shorting after refilling the gas. This is to avoid vehicle explosion or anything like that because in this situation it is a high probability that the gas is the main cause or trigger for the check engine light.

How Many Miles to drive After Disconnecting Battery to reset check engine light?

Disconnecting the battery is a method of resetting the check engine light of your vehicle. It involves removing the positive and negative terminals, fuming the battery capacitor to get it drained of any available electricity, and leaving it for about 20 minutes.

After disconnecting a battery and clean the battery terminals and reconnect them. Make sure you tighten any loose ends to avoid the problem of sparking.

You can start the vehicle and then drive around in cycles. You will have to drive to up 50 to 100 miles to fully reset the check engine light and make the OBD system monitors ready for inspection.

However sometime this time can be less or more so just feel free to drive even longer if your car didn’t reset when it hit the 100miles mark.


You may also want to read this post where I talked about if  check engine light does automatically get turned off after repair or if you have to reset it manually all the time.

I hope this post on how many miles can you drive with check engine light on was helpful, share it if it helped.

Radiographer & AUTOPART technician | All Post | Related posts

Hi dear, I am Gift Dennis I have been working as a Radiographer for over 8 years, but I switch my profession to what I love which is auto body part repairs and I recently got my automotive diploma last August 2020 as an auto-body repair technician. I love fitness and everything about cars, so here is where I share my expertise and experiences with those who wish to hear about them.

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