Why you should never, ever ignore your engine light

Graham Wood 08/30/2019 Vehicle Management

For ordinary motorists, it’s the moment that sends a shiver down the spine. But for fleet managers, it can sometimes be seen (and worse ignored) as ‘business as usual’. What am I talking about? The moment that the engine light comes on.

Well, you have been warned. Ignore your engine light at your peril. That’s right, don’t even think about putting off getting it getting checked out on the same day. Not even for a second.

This may sound like we’re preaching to the choir, but really, can your business afford to ignore checking up something like that? Yes, 50 per cent of the time it’s nothing serious. But what if this time it is?

Engine light agony

One of our customers recently shared a bitter story with us. And this is something that happened before his decision to equip his whole fleet with our fleet monitoring solution, Veturilo. Basically, there was a problem with the engine of one of his fleet vehicles. But unfortunately, all of the different drivers that had used that specific vehicle day-by-day had simply forgot to mention that the engine light had come on.

What happened? Well, in the end the vehicle broke down and it had a serious engine issue, so he had to withdraw it from operation for two weeks and of course pay for the whole new engine replacement. Ouch. Even if it wasn’t so serious that the fleet manager did not have to replace the vehicle, this is something that as a fleet manager you want to avoid, and a great example of why fleet maintenance is important for your business.

So, let’s take a really simple look at what your engine light coming on may mean, and what you should do about it.

Why is your engine light on in the first place?

Well, the appearance of the engine light on your dashboard first and foremost is a warning. Kind of like an alarm. It’s a tell-tale sign which means something is not quite right under the hood of your vehicle. The most important thing is not to panic. Because, for example, it might be something simple such as a loose gas tap or an ageing valve. But, it could also mean a severe problem with your vehicle’s engine.

So you need to visit your auto repair shop as soon as possible to get your vehicle’s engine checked out. This is usually done via an appropriate diagnostic tool and software, and based on the findings then the mechanics will come up with a ‘cure’ for your vehicle.

Dangers of ignoring your engine light

As we’ve mentioned on this blog before, fleet maintenance is the key to a healthy fleet and avoiding expensive repairs. If you ignore the engine light, even for a day, it could mean a serious issue with the engine. That could lead to the need for a costly repair job, or worse still, replacement engine. This is definitely something you want to avoid. If you don’t, then the knock-on effect for your business (apart from being out of pocket) will be that you’ll have one vehicle less and you’ll need to reschedule your program. This could mean delays for your customers, which is obviously not good news if you want to keep your customers happy.

Veturilo’s offerings: notifications and alerts

Thankfully for you, Veturilo can help you on this score. You can get notifications as soon as there is any issue with one of your vehicles’ engines. Even if your drivers don’t even notice it or forget to mention that your engine light has been on for a long time.

With Veturilo, you can see via your mobile phone when the engine light is on, along with other notifications for all of your vehicles. Not only are you able to see that there’s a problem with your engine but you can also get a diagnostic code that shows you what the problem may actually be. Smart eh?

Being able to get a prognosis of the potential problem on your vehicle from wherever you are is simply a benefit you can not turn down as a fleet manager. There are a whole host of different diagnostic notification alerts in Veturilo, so you can really be ahead of the game at all times.

Some famous last words of advice

We hope to have at least convinced you to never, ever ignore the engine light alert. And that your faithful companion in your efforts to keep on top of your fleet maintenance should be Veturilo. If you haven’t given it a go yet, contact us and get set-up right away.

In the meantime, here are some final words of wisdom on the old engine light topic:

Don’t ignore the engine light

Make sure your drivers report it whenever it comes on. But even more so, if you get a notification via your fleet management app, then make sure you get it checked out right away as soon as the vehicle returns as you are not on the scene to check for those tell-tale strange noises.

Training

Be sure to train your drivers to follow a specific reporting procedure for the engine light, so you avoid any situation whereby they continue on driving for long distances with the engine light on. As mentioned above, the engine light might indicate anything from an innocent issue to a huge malfunction. So why not find out as soon as possible? It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you want to know more ways in which a fleet management app helps your business, find out here.