The check engine light is a vital part of keeping your car running in prime condition. It is designed to alert us to issues so that we can get them resolved safely and get back on the road. However, when that light comes on, it can be unnerving. After all, it can be as simple as being due for a routine oil change to having low air pressure in a tire, or it can be something much more serious. Next time your check engine light turns on, here are a few causes and concerns to consider.
Common causes of a check engine light
While inexpensive, your gas cap plays a significant role in how well your car runs because it helps keep the pressure maintained and it prevents gas from evaporating and costing you money. When it’s loose or broken, or missing altogether, then you can replace or tighten it, and your light will go off.
Old spark plugs and wires can reduce the performance of your car and cause your fuel economy to decrease. When these need to be replaced due to wear and tear, then your check engine light will let you know.
If your airflow sense becomes faulty, it can wreak havoc on other parts of your engine such as O2 sensors, and you will want to have the situation taken care of before it becomes a much bigger expense and headache.
Your catalytic converter has an important job for the environment because it converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If your check engine light comes on, the issue could be due to required maintenance on this part of your engine, and you'll want to get it repaired quickly to ensure your car doesn't overheat.
Now, these are just some of the most common causes that will alert the check engine light to come on. There are other situations such as replacing an oxygen sensor to carbon build up that will need to be considered, so be sure you don't just start replacing parts. Involve the pros and get the codes to your car read.
Concerns that you should address
As soon as your check engine light comes on, you should address it. Many people make the mistake of continuing to drive their vehicles in hopes the problem will correct itself. Make sure you are looking to other lights on your dashboard that are may also be trying to alert you to the problem.
For most vehicles, when the check engine light comes on but isn't blinking, the problem is not an emergency but will need to be corrected. However, if the light is blinking, then you may have a much more serious problem on your hands and should schedule an appointment with the experts at Metro Motor as soon as possible.
Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.