A Third of UK Drivers Will Wait for up to Two Weeks or More Before Dealing with a Check Engine Light

Our latest survey has found that a third of UK drivers will wait for up to two weeks or more before investigating a check engine light.

When a car’s check engine light comes on, the issue should be diagnosed as soon as possible because it may affect the safety of the driver as well as those nearby. Not to mention, it can develop into a huge bill if left unaddressed. However, this alert is not taken as seriously as it should be by some. According to our research, a total of 29% of UK drivers will not immediately act on a check engine light, but will instead take a risk and ignore the alert until a more convenient time. In fact, 23% will wait for up to two weeks before having the car checked, 2% will wait for longer than this and 4% will completely ignore the light until it starts affecting the performance of the car.

Looking at age, younger drivers are more likely to delay acting on an engine light; 83% of drivers aged over 55 will take immediate action, whereas only 62% of those aged between 18 and 54 will do the same. This is also reflected in those who would completely ignore the light until it begins to affect the car; a worrying 8% of drivers aged between 18 and 34 admit to this, whereas 4% of those aged 35-54 and only 2% of those aged over 55 say the same.

Location wise, with 77%, Cardiff, Sheffield and Leeds all join to take the top spot for having the highest percentage of drivers which will immediately address an engine light. Whereas Norwich ranks as the worst with only 59% of drivers taking prompt action. Belfast, on the other hand, has the highest percentage of drivers ignoring the light completely with a total of 10% of motorists admitting to this.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “The check engine light is designed to alert the driver to what could be a serious problem with the engine and, as such, it should always be dealt with immediately. The longer the driver waits to investigate, the more likely the problem will affect the car itself. Whilst this survey indicates that most drivers are aware of this, 1 in 3 will still wait to deal with the issue; even if it is a week later, this will potentially affect everyone’s safety on the road and could substantially increase the cost to repair. If the check engine light crops up in an inconvenient location, you can always organise a check-up for your car using ClickMechanic and have the mechanic come to you.”