Check Gauge Light Warning: Meaning, Causes, and Fixes

Auto manufacturers equip cars with several car sensors and gauges. These system components have their respective jobs. However, these components are not independent.

For instance, the oil pressure sensor monitors the pressure of the motor oil being pushed to various internal engine parts and reports to the car computer, which then controls the oil pressure gauge on the instrument cluster.

In addition, warning lights illuminate on the dashboard to tell the driver of an imminent issue in the system that requires attention. While most drivers are familiar with only two gauges – speedometer and fuel gauge, several other gauges report vital information while driving.

So, if you see a ‘check gauge light’ warning message on the driver information center, you have an imminent problem somewhere around the system. Here, we will explain the ‘check gauge light’ meaning, causes, and how to rectify the error.

check gauges light comes on and off

What Does A Check Gauge Light Mean?

A check gauge light on a Ford Explorer or any car model is a warning light set by the car computer to tell the driver of underlying problems in the system.

It means that one or two-car gauges have a reading that is out of range from the normal operating parameters, or the engine coolant temperature or oil pressure is heading towards the north pole.

When triggered, the check gauge light on Dodge Ram 1500 has an amber color. Depending on your car model, the light may be red hue or orange when illuminated on the dashboard.

Since there are numerous gauges on a car, a check gauge light on Dodge Dakota or your respective car model can mean anything from gas tank issues to the oil pressure switches.

What causes the check gauge light on?

Since there are several gauges on a car, one or two of them can be the culprit. All gauges in your car and switches can cause a check gauge light to come on and off. Here are the common causes of a check gauge light.

  • Defective Trip Odometer
  • Faulty Tachometer
  • Defective Tire pressure gauge
  • Bad Voltmeter
  • Bad Speedometer or Odometer
  • Lousy Oil pressure gauge
  • Bad Fuel gauge
  • Malfunctioning Coolant temperature gauge

On some cars, the color of a check gauge light indicates how serious the problem is. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore the check warning light because the light suggests that it’s not an urgent fix.

Instead, you have to inspect the most common probable causes like tire pressure, oil pressure gauge, coolant levels, brake fluid levels, and motor oil levels because they can lead to a road emergency if not fixed on time.

The check gauge light can sometimes be a false warning light on the dashboard. However, because this is possible, do not conclude that nothing is wrong with your car without a proper diagnosis. Therefore, whenever the check gauge light on a Jeep wrangler or your respective vehicle model comes on, run a proper diagnosis or take it to an experienced mechanic. 

Now that we have seen the probable causes of the check gauge warning message on the dashboard, what should you do when your check gauge light comes on?

Check Gauge Light

How do you fix check gauge light errors?

When driving, you don’t have to panic when you see a check gauge light on your dashboard. All you have to do is pull over to a safe place and examine the instrument cluster. Here’s how you can track and fix the check gauge warning light.

Examine the fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge, and the temperature reading

Examine the position of the fuel gauge and see if the gauge is moving and if you have enough gas. If the fuel light is on, it could mean you’re running out of gas. But if the gauge does not move as you turn on the ignition, it could mean the fuel gauge is not working.

After that, examine the oil pressure gauge. If you have an older vehicle with an oil pressure gauge, examine the gauge on the instrument cluster. Check if the pressure is okay. If the pressure gauge is not where it should be, take the vehicle to a mechanic to fix it.

Lastly, check the temperature gauge reading and see if it is out of range or if the engine is overheating. If the engine is overheating, track the root cause and fix it. Check the cooling system components and the coolant temperature switch if the engine is overheating.

Scan the vehicle

If you don’t have a scanner, you can borrow one from a friend or rent one from a nearby auto repair shop. Locate the OBD port on your vehicle beneath the steering wheel. Plug in the scanning machine and pull out the registered diagnostics trouble codes.

Some advanced scanning tools will display the meaning of the codes, while the affordable ones will only show the logged error codes. Check the meaning of the codes, and track and fix the culprit.

Drive to a diagnostic shop

If you don’t have a DIY skillset or do not understand your vehicle’s underhood working principles. The best approach to fixing a check gauge light on Chevy Trailblazer or any car model is to take the car to a diagnostic shop.

They usually have advanced scanning machines that can precisely pinpoint the causes. Fortunately, the diagnostic shops can help you fix the problem because most of them have auto repair departments. This will save you time and prevent you from spending money on the wrong parts.

How much does it cost to fix the check gauge light?

Since several factors can trigger the check gauge light on the instrument cluster, it is nearly impossible to say the repair costs without a proper diagnosis. If you take the car to a repair shop, they’ll start with an hour of diagnostics. They usually charge $75 to $150 per hour.

The technician will likely repair or replace one of the following parts.

  • Engine temperature coolant switch $150 to $200
  • Fuel gauge replacement $150 to $250
  • Oil pressure gauge/sensor $150 to $300
  • Speedometer $200 to $300.

Final Words

In summary, the illumination of the check gauge light on the dashboard means the car computer has detected that one or two of the gauges on the vehicle is out of range. Vehicles have several gauges across different sections of a vehicle.

Most vehicle gauges are littered on the instrument cluster to display instructions for the drivers. Once the light appears on the dashboard while driving, pull over to a safe spot and check why the warning light pops up.

If you’re unfamiliar with your vehicle’s underhood working principles, drive to a nearby workshop. Be aware, that if you continue driving with the warning light can cause catastrophic damage or even lead to a total engine breakdown, depending on the root cause.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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