The Check Gauges light is a warning light that appears as part of the vehicle’s instrument cluster. Its location can vary depending on what type of vehicle you drive, but it is usually found in or near the speedometer and tachometer.
The light comes on when there is an issue with one or more of the gauges on your dashboard that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the check gauges light, including what it means, reasons why the light comes up, and how to fix it.
Reasons Why the Check Gauges Light Comes On & How To Fix
1. Low Oil Pressure
When the oil pressure is too low, the engine can be damaged, and this will make the check gauge light comes up. Oil pressure is a measurement of the force exerted by the oil on the crankshaft. It’s measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The minimum recommended operating range for most cars is between 5 and 15 PSI.
To fix your check gauges light in this case, you need to open the hood and check the oil dipstick to determine how much oil that needs to be added. You may need to add a quart or two of new oil.
2. Overheated Engine
If the check gauge light comes on, it can also mean that your engine is overheated. This can be caused by many things, but the most common cause is a bad radiator fan. When this fan doesn’t work, the engine overheats. The fan pulls air through the radiator and cools the engine by removing heat from inside it.
To fix the check gauges light in this case, one of the first things to do is pull over as soon as possible and turn off the engine. Let the engine cool for a few minutes before checking the temperature gauge.
After checking, try and restart your vehicle and watch out for the next reaction. If your car still gets hot, it is time to contact your mechanic.
3. Faulty Sensors/Sending Units
A faulty sensor can cause the light to come up, even though there is nothing wrong with your car’s engine or transmission. The sensors are responsible for monitoring how much fuel is in your car, how fast it’s going, and how much oil pressure there is.
They send this information to a computer that runs the engine and send back information about its health so that you know whether or not everything’s working properly.
In order to fix the check gauge light in the case of faulty sensors, you’ll want to check all of your fluids to make sure that they’re at the correct levels.
4. Loose Gas Cap
A loose gas cap can cause the check gauge light to come up. This is because it allows air to enter the fuel tank, making the fuel float on top of the gasoline instead of sitting directly in it. The float sensor will sense that there’s too much air in the tank and activate your check gauge light.
To fix the light in this case, pull into a driveway, you might have forgotten to tighten your gas cap tightly enough and the sensor detects this as an indication that there may be problems with the vehicle’s fuel system.
If this is indeed the case, then you just have to tighten or replace your gas cap according to manufacturer specifications so that it seals properly.
5. Thermostat Issues
If your check gauge light is on, it’s possible that the thermostat is not working properly. The thermostat is located in your engine block and measures the temperature of your coolant fluid. It opens when a specific temperature has been reached and closes again as soon as this temperature drops below it.
When it is closed, no coolant can flow through the radiator and into your engine. This can cause serious damage to your vehicle if left unchecked for too long.
To fix the check gauges warning light in this situation, you’ll need to turn off your car and allow it to cool off before trying again. If this doesn’t work, bring it to a mechanic for repair as soon as possible.
6. Vacuum Leak
A vacuum leak is the loss of pressure in a system that causes a lower-than-normal amount of pressure. A vacuum leak can cause problems with the engine, transmission, and other systems.
To fix the check gauges light, you need to check the hoses first. If you have access to compressed air, try blowing through all of your hoses that connect between components to locate any leaks. If you hear hissing sounds from any of them, then it’s time for new hoses.
You can also use an inexpensive device called an OBD II smoke tester which emits very small amounts of smoke when placed near suspected leaks. If no smoke comes out after holding one end against each component connection, then there’s no leak there either.
7. Blown Fuse
A blown fuse is also one of the common causes of why your check gauge light comes on. A blown fuse can occur if a short circuit in the wiring leading to the gauge cluster is damaged or if there is overheating from an electrical component such as the alternator or battery.
Replace any blown fuses and re-install your fuse box cover. If this does not solve your problem, check for a shorted wire or an open circuit in one of your vehicle’s wiring harnesses.
8. Loose Fan/Accessory Belt
If a loose fan/accessory belt is the culprit, your check gauges light will come on. This belt runs under the hood and connects to an electric motor that operates your power steering pump, alternator, air conditioning compressor, and water pump.
If you’re having trouble with your fan belt, the first thing to check is that all of your car’s hoses and connections are tight. Make sure there aren’t any leaks in any of them before moving on.
If everything looks good there, you may need to replace the belt itself. It’s pretty simple: just loosen up what connects it to the engine (or anywhere else) and take it off, then replace it with a new one.
Make sure to look at how long the old one was when putting on a new one so you know exactly how long yours should be.
Is It Safe to Drive With a Check Gauge Light On?
Driving with the check gauge light on is not ideal, but it’s not necessarily unsafe either. The light will typically come on when there is an issue with your car’s engine that needs to be addressed.
That said, driving with the check gauges light on can put you at risk of further damage to your vehicle if left unattended for too long. While it may seem counterintuitive, you should pull over and take a look at what’s wrong with your car when this happens. It could save you from serious future problems down the road (not just monetary ones).
The check gauge light is a helpful warning that indicates that something may be wrong with your vehicle. When the light comes up there may be an issue with the sensors or the thermostats.
Also, it can come up because of the following reasons: vacuum leaks, overheated engine, low oil pressure, loose fan belts, or loose gap caps.
The end to the Check Gauges light on your dashboard does not mean expensive repairs or serious trouble with your vehicle. You can fix it by either changing the fan belt, replacing the blown fuse, allowing your engine to cool off if it is overheated, tightening the loose gaps, or increasing the oil level if it is low.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!