Seeing the “check engine” sign illuminate on a dashboard is never a welcoming sign, and is often a cause of legitimate concern. However, in some cases the warning light is an indication of a less serious problem. When the check engine light turns on, the proper solution is to take the vehicle to the auto repair shop. If the vehicle is showing signs of poor performance, then caution should be taken and the vehicle should probably be towed to avoid damaging it. Learn about five of the most common causes for the check engine light to illuminate.
Although the gas cap may appear to be an insignificant part, one of its main functions is to ensure the fuel system stays sealed. If the cap is not tight fuel will leak out and the engine will sense the drop in pressure—resulting in a check engine light.
Over time, spark plugs become contaminated with carbon or other byproducts of combustion and lose their ability to spark. Poor performance and fuel economy are symptoms of old or bad spark plugs, and a check engine light usually indicates they are past due for a change.
Oxygen sensors detect problems with an engine’s air-to-fuel ratio so the vehicle’s computer is able to adjust it to the perfect proportions for proper performance. Failed oxygen sensors will result in poor performance and usually a check engine light.
The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air that an engine is drawing in and contributes to engine performance in much the same way as the oxygen sensor. Symptoms will be similar, but replacement of the MAF sensor is usually more expensive.
The byproducts of combustion that are sent through the exhaust system flow through a catalytic converter before exiting out the tailpipe. In this chamber, most of the harmful chemicals in exhaust are converted to less harmful chemicals. When a catalytic converter fails it’s usually a sign that an engine is having more serious problems as well.
Casey Automotive has the proper equipment to quickly determine the cause of a check engine light and fix the problem. Schedule an appointment by calling (866) 709-3522.