If it’s time for a preventative maintenance service, your vehicle’s check engine light can illuminate. A service warning light can also appear on your dashboard. You’re driving down the lane, minding your own business, when you discover that your check engine light has come on. Although it is important to test the car as soon as the check engine light illuminates, there is no need to worry. There are many explanations why it switched on, and there are a few things you should do to troubleshoot the issue before calling a specialist.
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Reasons why your check engine light is on include:
- Gas Cap:
This is the first thing you can look at. The gas cap caps the fuel system, ensuring that the gas tank is kept at the correct height. Your check engine light could be turned on because your gas cap isn’t tightened or looks chipped or broken. Secure the cap and search the dashboard and see if the light goes off if it’s not on properly. It’s possible that you’ll have to turn off and then back on your engine.
Since fuel vapors spill out of the gas tank, a loose or broken gas cap completely messes up the vehicle’s exhaust systems. This could result in a reduction in vehicle performance. The solution to this issue is rather straightforward. Just take a look at your gas cap! Is it strewn about? Check to see if your “check engine” light goes out when you tighten it up.
- Catalytic Converter:
A catalytic converter is an exhaust device that contains a catalyst that transforms pollutant gases such as carbon dioxide into less toxic gases. When the catalytic converter fails, it’s normally because you didn’t pay attention to a number of other problems. These problems have to do with other structures that interact with the catalytic converter.
Catalytic converters are in charge of lowering the vehicle’s emissions by turning carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals into harmless substances. It’s likely, though, that your catalytic converter is the root of your issues. If you’ve experienced a drop in fuel economy, odd odors, or poor results, you should get your catalytic converter checked.
- Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor in your vehicle’s engine monitors the volume of air entering the engine to ensure that the proper amount of fuel is mixed in. Your engine can stall or fail to start if you don’t have the proper air/fuel mixture. When the mass airflow sensor fails, the onboard computer receives a warning that there is an issue with the air/fuel mixture in the car, and the search engine light illuminates.
You might be risking the mass airflow sensor if you don’t service your car’s air filter on a daily basis. This sensor assists your car’s computer in injecting the correct volume of fuel into the engine, resulting in improved performance and reliability. If you don’t change your air filter, this sensor can begin to fail and provide inaccurate information, resulting in low gas mileage, stalling, and increased pollution. As a result, you can change the air filter in your car at least once a year.
When your check engine light comes on, get your mass air flow sensor tested. Since all of the engine’s components are interconnected, when one crashes, others appear to follow suit.
- Oxygen Sensor:
An oxygen sensor is important to the emissions system because it detects the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. This critical component determines how much unburned oxygen is present in your car’s exhaust, and whether there is too little or too much, it will cause damage to other engine components. A defective oxygen sensor will still result in a check engine light. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons why your car’s check engine light illuminates while you’re driving.
- Spark Plug:
A check engine light will illuminate if the spark plugs or connector wires are worn out. Your search engine light will most likely turn on if something is wrong with your vehicle’s ignition system. Your engine would not operate if the spark plugs are not in good working order. The air/fuel mixture in your vehicle’s combustion chamber is ignited by spark plugs. The ignition coil sends a spark to the spark plugs via the spark plug wires.
The vast majority of check engine light events are caused by these five problems. Don’t be alarmed if your check engine light turns on next time. It could be none at all, or it could be one of these little problems.
What Happens If You Don’t Pay Attention to the Check Engine Light?
Evaluate if your check engine light is simply lit or blinking. A blinking check engine light signals a significant internal malfunction that must be addressed right away. Regardless, the check engine light should not be ignored. Driving with a non-flashing but lit check engine light will reduce fuel efficiency and potentially lead to more serious and expensive repairs. Since all of the processes are interconnected, a malfunction in one will trigger a chain reaction in the output of the others. You can fail the emissions test if you drive the car in for a state inspection while your check engine light is on.