Check Gauges Light Comes On And Car Shuts Off [5 Easy Solutions]

It’s a serious issue if the check gauges light comes on and car shuts off. But the check gauges light isn’t always dangerous as it can come on even when simple gauges go out of range.

The most common reasons that cause the check gauge light to turn on are a weak alternator, low oil pressure, overheating engine, damaged crankshaft position sensor, and faulty wiring.

The gauge that has been affected lights up along with the check gauges light in most cases. Keep reading this article to find out more about these problems and how you can fix them.

Check Gauges Light Comes On And Car Shuts Off [5 Easy Solutions]

You should be wary of the check gauges light only if it shuts off the engine abruptly as it can cause an accident. If your check gauges light comes on and stops the engine, you need to get it fixed ASAP.

We’ll discuss the most common causes which make check gauges light turn on and stop your car from starting. You’ll also learn how you can solve these problems and get your car up and running again.

1. Weak Alternator

The check gauges light – as the name suggests lights up with one or more of the gauges having a problem. A weak alternator is the number one reason that causes the check gauges light to turn on and stop the engine.

A good sign of a weak alternator is if the check gauges light comes on when you hit the brakes. This may not always happen as intermittent failures with weak alternators happen a lot.


If the alternator is causing the problem, you need to have it replaced. Alternators are expensive and it’ll cost you a good deal of money to have them replaced by a mechanic even if you choose an aftermarket alternator.

2. Low Oil Pressure

The check gauges light will turn on if the oil pressure is too low and it’ll also prevent the car from starting. The most common causes behind low oil pressure are that the level of oil is too low, and the oil filter is leaking or clogged.

If you don’t change the oil at regular intervals or use oil of the wrong viscosity, that can also cause this problem. The sensor that detects the oil pressure can also be faulty and turn on the check gauges light.


The first thing to do is to check the level of oil. Check the oil level using your dipstick and refill it with the right viscosity oil if it’s too low. Replace the old oil filter when you change the oil. Doing these two things should fix the issue.

If the problem remains even after you refill the oil and change the oil filter, chances are that the oil pressure sensor has gotten bad. It’ll need to be replaced in this case.

3. Overheating Engine

The check gauges light goes crazy if the engine is overheating. The engine produces a lot of heat when it’s operational and that’s why coolants are required to keep the temperature of the engine low.

The engine can overheat if there are cracks in the radiator, or the coolant is leaking. It can also be hot if the level of coolant is low. The problem can also be caused by a faulty thermostat, damaged water pump, or blown head gasket


Refill the coolant if you’re running low on it. The other solutions require calling a technician and having the faulty parts replaced. Have a technician look at your vehicle to diagnose the problem and fix it.

4. Damaged Crankshaft Position Sensor

Your check gauges light can come if the Crankshaft position sensor goes bad. There are many indications that will help you figure out if the sensor is out of order. The check engine light will come on, the engine will have difficulty starting, and it’ll vibrate excessively and cause misfires.


The solution to this problem is easy but expensive. You need to replace the crankshaft position sensor since it’s a very important sensor for your car. It’ll cost you around $150-$300 to replace the sensor but the prices can go up if you have a higher-end vehicle.

5. Faulty Wiring

It could very well be the case that your car is fine but the check gauge’s light is on. Modern vehicles have complex wiring which can sometimes lead to faulty reading and the check gauges light turns on.

The best way to know if this is due to faulty programming is to see if any other warning light is on. If all other warning lights are off and only the check gauges light is on, it’s highly likely to be a false alarm.


If it’s a false alarm, nothing will happen to your car except the light will be on. You can physically inspect the gauges and see if they’re working fine to double-check that there are no major issues.

If the light is annoying you, you can get it fixed by having a mechanic take a look at it. But your car will be fine even if you leave it as it is.


What does it mean when your check gauges light comes on?

Every car has a lot of gauges that must work properly to run the car. The check gauges light comes on when at least one of these gauges is out of order.

How does the check gauge light work?

The gauges are usually electrical or mechanical. The electrical gauges take the reading from sensors that are placed in the car. The mechanical gauges have instruments to measure the readings.

How do I reset the check gauges light?

The check gauges light will automatically turn off if it was on due to simple issues and they’ve been fixed. But for more complex issues, you’d have to drive for at least 50 miles for it to turn off.

Why does the check gauges light comes on when I brake?

Your car’s check gauges light turns on when you brake hard due to low oil pressure. That’s because the oil shifts to one side and the oil pressure sensor can’t detect the oil pressure anymore.


Now you know why the check gauges light comes on and car shuts off after it lights up. Look for accompanying warnings along with the gauge engine light to know the exact reason why your check gauges light is on.

We hope this guide will help you fix the issues with your check gauges light. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

About John M

John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.

Leave a Comment