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Can Cold Weather Cause Check Engine Light to Come On?

Cold weather sends all kinds of wrong signals to the sensor of your car. It can even cause the check engine light to come on. But there are several aspects associated with it.

In this article, we will discuss whether the cold weather causes the check engine light to come on and the reason behind it. We will also discuss if it’s safe to drive your car in such a condition. So without further ado, let’s read ahead to learn more about it.

Can cold weather cause the check engine light to come on?

Cold weather can cause check engine light to come on. This happens because the cold temperature goes on to send a wrong signal to the sensors. The light may look something like a yellow or orange light indicating tight pressure in the tire. The warning sign tells you that the tire needs more air.

Cold weather can cause the check engine light to come on. This happens for a range of cars. Here’s a look at the reaction of check engine light of some of the most popular brands of car to the cold weather.

Toyota:

The check engine light can be on sometimes in a Toyota car. This might happen if the wrong signal is sent to the sensors due to a sudden drop in temperature.

However, if such a situation arises, you should make sure to check the system for any error before driving your car any further.

BMW:

The cold weather can cause the check engine light of a BMW to come on. There may be several reasons behind it.

So you should stop the car and check whether there are any issues with the car if you find that the check engine light turns on abruptly.

Jeep:

The cold weather can sometimes cause the check engine light to come on in a jeep. There may or may not be a valid reason behind it.

But you should always check the engine when the check light goes on in order to identify any potential threat to the car.

Chevy:

Chevy cars often have their check engine light on due to the cold temperature. This especially happens when there is a sudden drop in the temperature.

There may be several underlying issues when this happens. So you should stop the car and take a look at the car to check if it needs any immediate repair.

Mini Cooper:

Yes, the cold weather can cause the check engine light in Mini Cooper cars to go on. This happens when there is a steep drop in the temperature.

If you find that the engine light went on, take a look at the car to see if there’s any serious issue that needs to be fixed.

Volkswagen:

The cold weather can cause the check engine light in Volkswagen to go on. If you notice that there is any such case, make sure that you do not drive the car any further and take a stop as soon as possible.

Check the engine and the car to see if there are any major issues that need to be dealt with.

Mercedes:

The cold weather can cause the check engine light in Mercedes to go on all of a sudden. This happens when the sensors receive signals due to the sudden change in temperature.

If you face any such issues, run a thorough check in the engine in order to see if there are any major issues.

Dodge:

The cold weather can cause the check engine in Dodge to go on. In such a case, make sure not to drive the car any further. Instead, stop the car and check the engine and the fuel tank.

Subaru:

Cold temperature can cause the check engine light to go on in a Subaru. This may indicate some serious issues in the car. Give the car, engine, and fuel tank a thorough check as soon as you notice the light.

Why does my check engine light come on in cold weather?

Cold weather can cause the check engine light to come on. There may be several reasons behind it. That’s why the engine is warning light is called check engine, that is, you’re supposed to check the car for any defect.

The cold weather can cause the check engine light to come on unnecessarily sometimes.

But it is very likely that there will be some issues when such a thing happens. Here are some of the most common reasons why check engine light comes on in the cold.

Gas cap:

The first thing that you should check is the gas cap. Check whether the cap was left loose after you’ve refueled. Sometimes this is the reason why your check engine light comes on during the winter.

If you notice that the gas cap is loose, you should not continue to drive the car any further. You should fix the issues as soon as possible before proceeding.

Lack of air in the tire:

Another common reason why the check engine light comes on in the cold weather is that the tire does not have enough air.

This is a clear indication that you should fill some air in the air. This warning is usually given by your car on cold nights.

Broken sensors:

Another possible reason why the check engine light comes on in the winter is that the sensor is broken.

The cold weather, especially if the temperature drop is sudden and steep, is likely to send a false signal and the faulty sensor will receive it.

When it snows the sensors are disrupted and often broken. This will cause the check engine light to turn on in the winter.

Can cold weather affect car sensors?

Yes, cold weather can affect car sensors. This happens especially when the temperature is too cold and there has been a snowfall.

Snowfall and ice have the potential to block the advanced safety sensors in cars. Your car’s sensors will not work on extremely chilly nights. You may also find issues with the parking sensors of your car.

In addition, you are also likely to experience issues with the monitoring systems of your car. This system has a sensor on each of the four wheels. And the cold weather is likely to cause issues in those sensors as well.

Moreover, due to the snow and ice on the roads, the braking distance will also be longer. The sensors will be affected due to the snow and you will have trouble breaking the car as smoothly as you normally would.

Is it safe to drive with the check engine light on?

It is not safe to drive the car when you notice that the check engine light is on. As the name suggests, you should check the car as soon as you notice the light.

There may be some serious issues with the car which may end up causing an accident if left untreated.

If the light is steady, then the issue may not be as severe. However, if you notice that the check engine light is flashing, you should take the situation seriously. The flashing check engine light is an indication that there might be some serious issues with the car.

However, if you cannot find any visible issue with the car, then it is safe to drive the car. Sometimes these lights give false alarms due to faulty sensors during the winter season.

How far do you have to drive to reset the check engine light?

Sometimes the check engine light shows a false warning. In such a case, you will want to reset the check engine light. But you will have to wait a while before being able to reset the check engine light.

If you have reasons to believe that the check engine light is showing false warnings, then you should reset the light.

Such errors keep occurring during the winter. This happens especially when there is a steep drop in the temperature as it causes the sensors to malfunction.

The steep drop in temperature during the cold weather will cause the sensors to be faulty and show false warnings. In such a case, you will have to wait for about 30 to 100 miles to reset the check engine light.

Once you have driven between 30 to 100 miles, you will be able to reset the check engine light. This is when you will have to reset the drive cycle of your car.

Final Thoughts

Cold weather can cause the check engine light to go on. More often than not, this light indicates that your car has some issues. So you should check before driving any further. But in cold, there may be false warnings due to sensor malfunction caused by the cold temperature.