Top 5 Reasons the Check Engine Light Is On
It’s one of the worst nightmares for most car owners: seeing the “check engine” light pop up on the display. Some people pretend like they don’t see it and just ignore it, but in doing so, they may earn themselves a huge repair bill in just a few short months or even a few weeks. Taking action right away can catch the problem while it is still early, allowing you to save money on repair bills.
Here are the five most common reasons that we see the engine light on in the cars we’ve serviced:
Leaking fuel vapors can trigger the engine light. The gas cap may simply be loose, or it may be cracked or defective. Making this simple fix can turn the light off and prevent future damage.
A faulty airflow sensor will increase emissions and can cause the car to stall out. Replacing the air filter regularly will protect the airflow sensor, as well as the car’s fuel efficiency.
The oxygen sensor monitors what’s coming off the exhaust, and it helps regulate fuel consumption. A faulty oxygen sensor will kill fuel efficiency and trip the engine light. The sensor can fail over time as it is covered in oil and debris, and the only way to fix the problem is to replace it.
The catalytic converter plays a key role in reducing emissions by neutralizing carbon monoxide and other gases. If the catalytic converter fails, the car will not be able to run. Theoretically, the catalytic converter should not fail, but if other maintenance is neglected, it can cause a chain of reactions that will damage the converter.
Sometimes, a check engine light can be the result of a simple spark plug—either one that has failed or is misfiring. We recommend visiting a mechanic to get to the bottom of this issue, since it can be difficult to figure out which spark plug is causing the problem.
Drivers should never ignore the check engine light. By taking fast action, a simple fix can lead to huge savings.