One in three drivers wait up to two weeks before dealing with engine light


A survey from ClickMechanic, an online marketplace for car repair, has found that a third of UK drivers wait for up to two weeks or more before investigating an engine light displaying on the dashboard.

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. However, according to ClickMechanic’s 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.

Perhaps not surprisingly, risk-taking younger drivers are more likely to delay acting on an engine light. Whereas 83% of drivers aged over 55 will take immediate action, 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, Cardiff, Sheffield and Leeds all join to take the top spot for having the highest percentage of drivers who will immediately address an engine light with 77%. However, 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!

Says Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic:

“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.”

How long would it take for you to investigate a check engine light?
  Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Cardiff Leeds Sheffield Norwich Belfast
Immediately Deal With the Problem 70% 62% 62% 83% 77% 77% 77% 59% 71%
Take It to Be Checked Within Two Weeks 23% 25% 31% 14% 16% 20% 14% 32% 19%
Wait Longer Than Two Weeks 2% 4% 3% 0% 5% 0% 0% 2% 0%
Ignore the Light Until the Problem Affects the Car 4% 8% 4% 2% 2% 3% 8% 7% 10%


Chris Price