A Jeep’s Check Gauges light basically means that one or more of the Jeep’s essential gauge readings are inaccurate or out of range. This generally indicates issues such as a malfunctioning engine’s power system, insufficient engine oil, or other faulty but necessary subsystems that the gauges monitor.
The root cause of this issue could be more complex and serious. And, disobeying this warning might significantly harm your Jeep. It might also leave you stuck on the road. So, it is necessary to discover how to deal with it and prevent it.
What Does the Check Gauge Light Mean?
Gauges are a kind of device used to monitor several functions in a Jeep. These gauges are not only used in Jeeps, but also in most modern vehicles.
It’s an important system for any vehicle’s safety and performance. Here, if any of these gauges indicate an issue, it triggers the “Check Gauges” light on the dashboard.
Basically, it’s a warning signal that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) displays on the vehicle’s dashboard. It helps the driver know about potential vehicle issues.
Based on the model and vehicle, this check gauge light could be orange, yellow, or flashing red. The yellow light indicates a moderate risk, and the red indicates a serious issue.
Which Gauges are Most Likely to Trigger the Check Gauge Light?
The check gauge light could be turned on for several reasons. Here, some reasons could be serious, whereas others could be less important.
And, if you know which issues are triggering this light, you will be able to fix the specific issue.
But if you don’t have any idea and take your vehicle to a mechanic shop, they might fool you.
So let’s take a closer look at a few significant gauges and how they turn on your Jeep’s “Check Gauges” light.
Coolant Temperature Gauge:
This gauge continuously monitors engine coolant temperature. Basically, every vehicle has a standard temperature rating.
And, when this coolant temperature crosses its standard limit, this gauge instantly detects it and triggers the check gauge light.
In general, an ideal coolant temperature falls between 195 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oil Pressure Gauge:
To ensure proper operation, every vehicle’s engine requires a certain amount of oil pressure.
And, if this oil pressure drops below a specific limit (25 to 65 PSI), an engine’s motor won’t get the sufficient lubrication it needs.
At this time, the oil pressure gauge triggers the “Check Engine Light. Along with the Check Gauges Light, you may also notice an oil pressure warning light.
Fuel Level Gauge:
A fuel level indicator/gauge generally monitors the fuel level. Basically, this gauge has two parts: one is a sensor unit, and another is an indication unit.
Here, the sensing unit/device measures the quantity of fuel inside the tank and transmits this data to the indication unit.
When the sensing unit detects low fuel levels or the sensing unit itself malfunctions, it triggers the check gauge light.
Tire Pressure Gauge:
Jeep has a TPMS to continuously monitor its tire pressure. This system uses pressure monitoring sensors which are installed in each tire to get specific pressure levels.
Here, when any tire’s pressure becomes lower than the manufacturer’s standards (32 to 36 PSI), its sensor triggers the check gauge light. In this situation, a yellow dash indicator light will also turn on.
Battery Voltage Gauge:
This gauge measures the voltage level of the Jeep’s battery. And if the voltage reaches below the standard range, the gauge thinks that the battery is not charged well or not functioning properly.
In this situation, it illuminates the check gauge light. Low battery voltage can be caused by several reasons.
Such as a malfunctioning charging system, a faulty alternator, an old battery that isn’t working correctly, or weak/broken connections.
Trip Odometer Gauge:
A functioning trip odometer gauge calculates the distance the car has traveled since its last reset. And a faulty trip odometer gauge might cause the check gauge’s light to illuminate.
A device called a “tachometer” is used in every vehicle to measure an engine’s operating speed.
Here, when this gauge finds a mismatch with the default RPM value or malfunctions, it then triggers the check gauge light.
Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge:
Here, if the air/fuel ratio goes above or below the typical range, their monitoring gauge illuminates the check gauge light. Typically, it’s a sign that indicates that the engine’s oxygen sensors or fuel system aren’t working properly.
How Do I Reset the Check Gauge Light?
Usually, when you solve the specific issue, the check gauge light will automatically turn off.
But, if the light stays on even after fixing the issue, you may have to apply manual reset techniques.
To properly reset the check gauge light on a Jeep, follow these step-by-step guidelines:
- Step 1: Insert the key
Insert the key in the ignition and place it in the “ON” position. But don’t start the vehicle.
- Step 2: Start resetting
Now, on the instrument panel, push the trip odometer reset button and hold it for a couple of seconds.
After a few seconds, the check gauge light will begin to flash. Hold it until the gauge light stops blinking.
- Step 3: Finish the process and check
After that, when the light goes off, release the reset button and switch off the ignition.
Now, to ensure that the check gauge light has been reset, wait a short while and then restart the ignition.
Note Well: The reset process could be quite different based on the individual Jeep model and year. That’s why, it is always suggested to read the owner’s handbook for precise instructions.
What Are Some Symptoms of a Jeep’s Bad Gauge?
When a Jeep’s gauge becomes bad or malfunctions, it shows several symptoms. And, these symptoms typically vary depending on the specific issue.
So, you should have a clear idea about these signs. Because later on, this will help you overcome any major or minor issues easily. The following are some typical signs to watch out for:
- Improper gauge readings
- Without any reason, engine check light stays on
- Engine overheats unexpectedly
- Increased fuel use
- Stalled or unable to start the engine
- Initial starting problems
- Significantly drops the Jeep’s performance and mileage
- Black smoke is coming from the exhaust pipe
How Can I Prevent the Check Gauge Light From Coming On?
Preventing the Jeep’s check gauge light from coming on is very easy. But, for this, you have to follow some procedures.
Firstly, this might seem quite unnecessary, but in the long run, it will help you save a significant amount of money. These are some simple steps you can take:
- Regularly maintain the electrical system and sensors
- Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule
- Replace faulty sensors
- Immediately solve the warning signs issues
- Don’t drive aggressively
- Regularly inspect the tires
- Periodically check the fluid levels
- Always use high-quality gasoline
By following these steps, you may be able to prevent some upcoming problems, but, for some specific and serious issues, you may need expert help.
After reading this article, you have your desired answer. But, it is quite possible that you still have some unanswered questions in your mind. Here are some frequently asked questions that you are probably looking for.
Does the “Jeep Check Gauges” message indicate a serious issue?
A “Jeep’s Check Gauges” light indicates that one or more of its gauge readings are out of range. Most of the time, it indicates a serious issue. So, in this situation, you should consult with an expert as soon as possible and follow what they say.
Can I still drive my Jeep when the “Check Gauges” message is displayed?
Yes, sometimes you can. But, when this warning signal appears, it is not advised to keep driving your Jeep. If you ignore it, you might face serious problems with your car. It might also damage the entire engine.
What is the estimated cost of fixing the issue that is triggering the “Jeep Check Gauges” message?
Approximately, this might cost you between $100 and $1000 to solve this issue. But, depending on the root cause, your location, and the availability of required components, this estimated price might increase or decrease a little bit.
Can the “Check Gauges” warning be removed by restarting the Jeep’s PCM?
Yes. The “Check Gauges” warning light can be temporarily resolved by restarting the Jeep’s PCM. But it won’t solve the root causes of this issue. So, it is always suggested to have a qualified technician examine and diagnose the vehicle.
So, you got all the answers that you were looking for. Basically, as time passes, every vehicle’s internal systems become weak, worn out, blocked, or suffer other severe damage.
This creates issues like the “turn on check gauge light” and instability of the vehicle.
So if you are already experiencing this problem, take the car to a mechanic as soon as possible. Also, follow the previously mentioned steps to avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future.