I've noticed a growing number of people I know that are driving with their check engine light on, too broke to have their car checked out.

A growing number of Americans drive with their check engine lights on, apparently with the belief that if the car still runs, it's "OK". While much of the time, that may be the case, you'll end up spending more on gasoline until you get the vehicle fixed.

Many times that pesky check engine light can mean your car is using fuel at a higher rate, which is why it becomes important to have your vehicle repaired. In some instances, when the check engine light is illuminated, your car could be as much as 50% less fuel efficient. This happens as a precaution to protect your engine. If an oxygen sensor has quit, and the engine computer is unable to calculate how much fuel to use, it changes how much fuel it sends to your cylinders, resulting in much lower fuel economy.

Make sure that if your check engine light is on and your fuel economy doesn't seem to be as good as it's supposed to be to have your vehicle serviced immediately! It's the only way to ensure your vehicle doesn't emit more carbon dioxide than it's supposed to, and it helps you spend less on your fuel bill.