I would also think that it is a good thing if it does not come on :) but I think I see your issue. IT just does not come on at all, even when you just turn the key to the start position where all the lights and gauges come on? I suppose there could be any number of reasons for this but I would start by checking the actual bulb and the PCB of the instrument cluster and go from there. Not sure if this helps, sorry.
Prior owner/seller probably pulled the bulb out so the buyer wouldnt see the check engine light was on....or its just burnt out.
Its possible its a PCB (printed circut board) problem on the gauge cluster, but highly unlikely.
Replace the bulb. Or swap it out with the ABS light (or something) as a test.