If your check engine light is on, the last thing you should do is ignore it. While adding one more task to your to-do list might feel like a chore, the check engine light is a sign something could be seriously wrong — you don’t want to delay getting it fixed.
Here are five common reasons your check engine light is on:
1. Issues with the Gas Cap
One of the most common culprits is a loose gas cap. As a seal to the fuel system, the gas cap also helps maintain appropriate amounts of pressure within the fuel tank. It also prevents nasty fumes from being released.
This issue is one of the cheapest and easiest to resolve. If you notice your check engine light turning on after you get gas, check to make sure the gas cap isn’t loose. If it is, you can quickly replace it yourself by buying a new one at your local auto store for around $15.
If you don’t replace a faulty gas cap, fuel could evaporate and you’ll end up making more trips to the gas station.
2. Oxygen Sensor Should Be Replaced
Your vehicle’s exhaust system measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the vehicle with the oxygen sensor, or O2 sensor. The sensor sends information to your vehicle’s computer, and the computer determines the amount of air and fuel that enters the engine cylinders.
While a car will continue to run when an oxygen sensor needs to be replaced, doing so isn’t recommended. Ignoring the problem could lead your engine to burn more fuel than needed, you’ll get fewer miles per gallon and other components like the spark plugs and catalytic converter could be damaged.
3. You Need a New Catalytic Converter
Catalytic converters are friends to the environment — and human health. Part of the vehicle’s exhaust system, they convert the harmful gas carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide.
Most catalytic converter damage is a result of neglect. Regular maintenance like oil changes and addressing any check engine light warnings prevent issues.
If you don’t address the problem, your vehicle can’t pass an emissions test, will experience reduced performance and could function at a higher temperature.
4. The Mass Airflow Sensor is Bad
Part of the engine management system, the mass airflow (MAF) sensor keeps track of the air entering the engine and determines the amount of fuel needed for the engine to run properly.
How do you know if it needs to be replaced? MAF failure signs include:
· Rough idle
· Trouble starting
· Throttle pedal’s unexpected positional change
· Poor mileage
Fixing this problem as soon as possible is imperative, otherwise it could lead to oxygen sensor damage, problems with the catalytic converter or spark plug issues.
5. Spark Plugs Need Replacement
A vehicle’s spark plugs ignite the engine cylinder’s fuel and air mixture. If they’re damaged and not fixed in a timely manner, they can lead to bigger issues including damage to the catalytic converter, ignition coils and oxygen sensor.
If your check engine light is on, don’t delay in getting help today. Contact the experts atLiving the Dream Auto Care for prompt repairs and maintenance!