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The amber "check engine" light is a computer system malfunction light: it comes on when the computer that controls the engine and transmission sees something abnormal happening. Low oil level will not turn this light on; the oil light is a red one.
When the light comes on, it should store failure information in the computer memory that a technician with the proper equipment can retrieve to find out what system the fault is in, and give a starting point for diagnosis. There are many possibilities as to the cause, pretty much anything that goes wrong in the drivetrain turns on the generic "check engine" light.
You need to take the vehicle in to a mechanic to find out what the problem is. It may be something minor, or an emission related failure, but could also be a symptom of something getting ready to fail and ruin your day; therefore you should have it checked out soon!
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