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Car care and maintenance: six tips for teens

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3. Don’t ignore dashboard warning lights

Dashboard warning lights are like alarm bells. They’re telling you something is wrong with your car! These warning lights include the check engine light, oil light, temperature light, brake light, and so on. When warning lights come on, pay attention to them! Read the owner’s manual so you know what each of the warning lights mean and how you should respond.

Did you know? If your Check Engine light is blinking while you’re driving, you should pull over immediately. The light can signal any number of system failures, from a fuel vapor leak caused by a loose gas cap to poor acceleration caused by a faulty MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor. If it’s blinking while you’re driving, pull over or get to a mechanic right away. A blinking check engine light usually indicates a severe misfire that could damage your car’s engine. If the light comes on and stays on without flashing and the car seems to be running smoothly, chances are your car can be examined by a mechanic after you get home, or when you can get to one.

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