Check Gauges Light And Car Won’t Start: 8 Reasons

What if your check gauges light and car won’t start? What could be the reason behind it and how can you solve this problem? We tell you everything you need to know.

All components of your car must work perfectly to take you from one place to another. But components can wear with time. Imagine you are driving a car, and the vehicle shuts down. The check gauge light is triggered on your dashboard.

There can be various reasons, like the faulty alternator or fuel pump. Additionally, if the fuel pump fuse blows away, the check gauge light comes on the dashboard.

Check Gauges Light And Car Won't Start

Meaning Of Check gauge Light

You need to pay attention to all the lights on the dashboard while driving a car. If the check engine light comes on your vehicle, then there is an issue with any gauge or sensors in the car. 

There are various gauges in a vehicle, like a temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, coolant temperature gauge, and many more. You need to check gauges from time to time for safety purposes.

This check gauge light indicates that these gauges have a reading that deviates from normal pressure or temperature. You will find orange, yellow or red color on the dashboard when the check gauge light illuminates the dashboard.

For the Jeep Grand Cherokee and other Wrangler models, one of the below gauges will deviate from the regular reading.

  • Fuel gauge
  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Coolant temperature gauge
  • Speedometer
  • Voltmeter
  • Tachometer

If the check gauge light illuminates the dashboard while driving, you need o first inspect the water level, brake fluid level, oil level, and pressure and tire pressure to drive on the road safely.

Reasons Why Check Gauge Light And Car won’t Start

#1.Blown fuel Pump Fuse

Modern cars are not using numerous electric modules. So you can locate multiple fuses in a car. You cannot see these fuses from the outside. They are usually located behind the glove box, underhood, dashboard, and many more places.

There is a fuse for the fuel pump, and its primary work is to prevent the fuel pump from burning during overloading. 

Sometimes the fuel pump demands more electric current than it can handle. In such cases, the fuse acts as a safety device and blows away. It prevents the high current from reaching the fuel pump.

The fuse of the fuel pump is comprised of lead and tin and is mainly of 10 amperes. The wire melts because of excess current. Thus it cuts off the current supply to the fuel pump.

The fuel pump cannot function without electric power. Hence the car does not start, and the check gauge lights come on the dashboard.

If the fuel pump fuse can handle ten amps, you need to replace the fuse with only 10 amperes. It will blow away if you replace a fuse above or below the 10 amperes.

Check Gauges Light And Car Won't Start

#2.Faulty Fuel Pump

The work of the fuel pump is to extract fuel from the fuel tank and then send it to injectors which will further provide fuel to the cylinder.

There is a suction filter present in the fuel pump. The fuel must pass through this filter before entering the fuel pump. The filter ensures that no dirt and debris will enter the fuel pump. 

Additionally, the fuel also passes through another filter before reaching the injectors. The fuel pump has two filters which is a good thing but can sometimes create a serious problem.

The filters can get clogged with time, and at that time, the fuel filter has to work much harder to extract fuel from the tank and send it to injectors. It may cause the fuel pump to malfunction.

The fuel pump cannot send the proper amount of fuel to the combustion chamber. The engine misfires because of insufficient fuel in the chamber. Finally, the engine shuts off, and the check gauge light is displayed on your dashboard. You need to clean the fuel pump filters from time to time.

#3.Malfunctioning Of Crank Position Sensor

The crankshaft position sensor is an electronic device in spark ignition and compression ignition engines. 

The work of the crankshaft sensor is to provide information about the crankshaft to the PCM(Performance control module), so it can inform the fuel injectors when to spray fuel inside the combustion chamber. When the sensor works perfectly, there is no disturbance in the engine performance. 

The work of this sensor starts instantly when you turn on your car. When the vehicle is in an idling position, the engine rotates at low rpm.

The crankshaft position sensor at that time will notify the PCM so that it will set the timing of fuel injection.

When you start driving a car, the sensor detects the engine rotations and will send the data to the PCM accordingly.

But when the crankshaft sensor malfunctions, it can neither detect the position of the crankshaft nor measure the engine rotations. It dramatically affects the engine’s performance because the fuel injector cannot know when to spray fuel inside the combustion chamber.

The vehicle may shut off in the middle of the road, and the check gauge light turns on your dashboard.

You need to take your vehicle immediately to the mechanic. If the crankshaft sensors are in very ad condition, it’s better to repair them.

The price of a crankshaft sensor is between $150 to $300. Well, the price can go above, depending on the model of the car.

Check Gauges Light And Car Won't Start

#4.Alternator Malfunctioning

An engine in the car can provide only mechanical energy but not electrical energy. A vehicle needs a power source that will produce current and provide to all car electronic components.

There comes the importance of the alternator, which helps convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

It has mainly two components, i.e., stator and rotor. The stator is the stationary part of the alternator, and the rotor(moving part) is connected to the engine by a belt pulley arrangement. 

Whenever the engine is turned on, it provides power to the belt attached to the alternator, which helps rotate the rotor shaft.

Consequently, it spins the magnet set over the coil and produces alternating current. A rectifier in the alternator converts this alternating current to the direct current and provides it to the battery.

Whenever you turn on the car, the battery provides current to the starter motor, which rotates the flywheel, and the engine starts.

An alternator usually lasts for many years. But if overheating, blown a fuse, or the wires get damaged with time, the alternator does function.

When the alternator goes bad, it cannot continuously supply power to the battery. Hence the car battery cannot power the various electrical components like headlights, tail lights, and many more. Most people think there is a problem with the battery and even try to change the battery. But you need to also think about the alternator. 

The issue in the alternator can even shut off the car, and the check gauge light can turn on the dashboard.

If you find the alternator is in bad condition or broken, it’s better to replace it. Replacing the alternator is a bit expensive.

#5.Low Oil Pressure

Oil is essential for the engine as it helps lubricate various engine parts. Low oil pressure can be a reason for turning the check gauge light.

There can be numerous reasons for low oil in the car. For instance, if the engine is too old, it will consume more oil than a new engine. 

There can be oil leaks because of damaged piston rings. The oil filter plays a vital role in maintaining proper oil pressure. But it can get clogged with dust and dirt with time. So a clogged filter can be the reason for insufficient oil pressure in the vehicle. 

Additionally, if you use oil of incorrect viscosity, then there is fluctuation in oil pressure, and the check gauge light turns on. The oil pressure gauge will show low pressure, a red alert for the driver.

If you face such a problem, check the oil level in the reservoir first. If it’s low, top it off with new oil of correct viscosity. Change the filter if possible. Doing these things may solve the problem. But if the problem persists, there can be an issue with an oil pressure sensor.

Check Gauges Light And Car Won't Start

#6.Engine Overheating

The temperature gauge can detect when the engine gets overheated and triggers the check gauge light.

The engine can get overheated because of plenty of reasons. For instance, when the coolant does not circulate on all parts of the engine, the engine will get overheated. Again, if the radiator has a problem, the engine gets heated up more than usual.

You will observe that the coolant level has decreased than average. The power produced by the engine will also be reduced.

Remember overheating can cause severe damage to various vital components in the engine. So, you should take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic.

#7.Damaged Battery Terminals

The battery terminals help connect the battery to the car’s electrical components. These terminals are usually comprised of lead which is good conductive metal but has low resistance.

But if these terminals go bad with time, they cannot supply the power from the battery to all the electric components of the vehicle.

Most car owners don’t give much attention to the battery terminals. But these terminals can get corroded with time when these terminal starts corroding, the electrical resistance increases and disrupts the current flow to various electric components. As a result, your car may shut down, and the check gauge light will turn on the dashboard.

So, whenever you open the hood then, check the battery terminals. If you find them dirty, then clean them instantly.

#8.Faulty Sensors

Sensors may go bad on your car and trigger the check gauge light. For instance, malfunctioning oxygen sensors can activate the check gauge light and damage the catalytic converter, reduce car efficiency, and foul sparkplug.

Check Gauges Light And Car Won't Start

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What would cause the check gauges light to come on

There are various gauges in a car, like a temperature gauge, battery gauge, oil pressure gauge, and many more. When the check gauge light comes on, it indicates either one or more gauges are deviating from the normal temperature and pressure or approaching a hazardous level.

#2. What does it mean when your car says to check gauges?

The check gauge light means at least one gauge on the car fluctuates from the average value. The affected gauge also illuminates along with the check gauge light. For instance, the battery gauge illuminates if there is a problem with either the battery or the alternator.

#3. Is it safe to drive with the check gauges light on?

Whenever the check gauge light comes on your dashboard, shut off the engine and check the oil reservoir. If you find less oil, you immediately need to top it off with more oil. Additionally, check the temperature gauge. The engine may get overheated and trigger the check gauge light. If the light is solid, you must take the vehicle to the nearest service station as soon as possible. 

#4. What does it mean to check gauges on a Ford f150

Whenever you are driving Ford F150, then you must check gauges from time to time to ensure that all the vital components are working effectively. For instance, your vehicle may get overheated while driving. So checking the temperature will determine whether the engine is overheated or functioning normally. Similarly, check the battery gauge; if it is within 13 to 15 volts, then the battery and alternator are doing them effectively. But if the battery gauge shows below 13b volts or above 15 volts, there can be an issue with the battery or alternator.

Check Gauges Light And Car Won't Start

Wrap Up

When the check gauge light triggers then, it indicates that there is some problem in the vehicle. The problem may be minor; if the car has a loose gas cap, the check gauge light also turns on the dashboard. It may also be serious, like a bad alternator or leaking oil ad any more.

So, take your vehicle to the service center as soon as possible when you see the check gauge light.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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