Updated at: 16-07-2022 - By: Lucas

As long as you’re driving, your car’s engine is going to have mechanical issues. Even if you wait a while to address a problem, it may not have a long-term effect on your car.

As a result, you should be aware of the warning signs that your car gives off when there’s a problem with its engine so that you can react appropriately.

You can tell if something is wrong with your car’s engine by turning on the check engine light. Although other lights may appear on the display when the car has a problem, this is not always the case.

There is a possibility that the check engine light with the down-arrow will emerge, and it is important to know what it means.

Check engine light with a down arrow should be taken more seriously than the usual check engine light, which can indicate a variety of problems and some of which are small, which people choose to ignore and continue with their daily routine when this light shows.

Continue reading to find out what causes the light in your dashboard to come on, what it implies, and what to do if it does.

What does a check engine light with a down arrow mean?

The check engine light with a down arrow, often known as an energy saving light, indicates that your car’s performance may be drastically lowered.

When the light is on, the car’s SD and acceleration are decreased, but you can still drive it. Power loss can continue until the vehicle is driven again.

It’s imperative that you get out of your automobile as soon as the warning light displays on the dashboard so you can either diagnose the issue yourself or have the vehicle serviced right away. The catalytic converter is a pricey item to replace if you continue to drive while the light is on.

Causes of the check engine light with a down arrow

Engine Light With Down Arrow

The check engine light with a downward pointing arrow can occur for two basic causes.

The PMC senses an issue with the car’s throttle actuator control

If this happens, you should immediately stop the car and inspect the cables. Check to see if the sensor is operating and if so, see if the throttle is too tight. If so, move on to the next step. Restart the vehicle after it has had time to cool down.

But if the throttle isn’t fully cocked, tighten it and make sure you hear a loud click before starting the automobile. Because you’re the one in charge, this won’t cost you a penny. If none of the suggested issues can be resolved, ETC remains a viable option as a probable origin of the light.

The ETC system of your car has a problem

The check engine light with a downward pointing arrow will undoubtedly come on if your car’s ETC system is having issues. This issue necessitates immediate treatment, which can be provided by having the vehicle serviced or by replacing the ETC.

Take the car to your dealer, where they will be able to determine the degree of the problem and come up with a remedy.

Solving this issue will set you back anywhere from $300 to $1500 in total, not including the cost of labor. There are some cars that need to be retaught how to operate when an electrically controlled throttle system is restored, making the repair costly.

Repairing the ETC system demands a high level of precision, which is why you should seek the services of an expert.

What cars have the check engine light with a down arrow?

Not all automobiles with ECT systems have this issue, but some do. In addition to Saturn sl2, Buick Rainier, Saturn Lucerne and LeSabre are only a few examples.

Does the check engine light differ from the check engine light with a down arrow?

Yes, the two lights are unique, despite the fact that they both indicate an engine problem.

Whenever an engine sensor, catalytic converter, or fuel cap issue is detected, the vehicle’s check engine light illuminates.

The check engine light with a down arrow, on the other hand, is unique to vehicles equipped with an ECT system and only shows on those vehicles.

The down arrow on the check engine light indicates that there is an issue with the ECT system, which necessitates immediate attention from a qualified mechanic.


When a vehicle’s ECT system malfunctions, the check engine light with a downward pointing arrow illuminates, signaling that immediate attention is needed. This light is much more difficult to fix than a conventional engine light and requires the expertise of a trained specialist.

The ECT system, which is not present in all vehicles, is the main culprit.