An engine indicator light will reset

The engine control light: That means the warning light

Each time the car is started, a yellow indicator in the form of an engine lights up in the cockpit of the car: the engine control lamp. The meaning of the MKL and how to react correctly when it is flashing.

The engine control lamp (MKL) looks the same in every car. It's yellow and resembles a stylized engine. That they at Start the engine lights up briefly, is completely normal and nothing to worry about.

The brief flashing is only used to check that it is working properly. If the MKL does not go out, however, there may be a problem. Rapid flashing is also an indication of a malfunction. This is in Fault memory of the car and can be read out during a visit to the workshop.

The engine control light ...

... lights up briefly when the engine starts.

Control function, there is no error. There is no need to go to a workshop.

... does not start briefly after the engine has started.

The engine control lamp is defective.

... lights up continuously.

A defect has been identified, but there is no specific danger to the engine or the environment - a workshop should nevertheless be visited.

... flashes very quickly.

A serious defect was found - the vehicle should be taken to a workshop as soon as possible.

The MKL is active, but what is the error?

The MKL responds to problems with the Engine control. This ensures the control, regulation and monitoring of engine functions. Also irregularities in the Pollutant emissions are possible triggers of the error message from the lamp.

Basically you can quite different components - and even several at the same time - can be affected, even if only a single error is displayed. For example, the swirl flaps in the intake tract may be defective, which would lead to increased pollutant emissions. Sensors such as the lambda probe and air mass meter trigger the light after they have noticed values ​​outside the permissible range. Leaks in the intake or exhaust tract can also lead to an error message.

Driving on is usually possible

If the engine control lamp flashes or does not go out, be sure to observe the relevant information in the operating manual Of your vehicle. In no case should you ignore the error message, but rather the closest one immediately Head for the workshop. As a rule, no towing service is required for this. However, the car should only be moved carefully and not further than absolutely necessary.

In order to track down the problem, an employee in the workshop first reads the Fault memory out. This service costs at least 25 euros and takes about 30 minutes. Therefore, it can often be carried out spontaneously and without an appointment.


If the engine check light comes on briefly when starting the engine, this is not a cause for concern. If the MKL does not go out after the start, it must not always a fatal mistake are present, but a direct danger to the engine cannot be ruled out. Only a qualified mechanic is able to get to the bottom of the cause of the fault and thus prevent serious damage to the engine. So you should go to a workshop immediately and drive as gently as possible.

Also good to know: A glowing or flashing engine control light is enough to by the TÜVto fall. Ultimately, the auditor then suspects that there is an error that has not been remedied.

Text: Joshua Merold

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