What Does it Mean if the Check Engine Light Comes On?

The check engine light is one of the most frustrating and confusing dashboard warning lights. It tells you something is wrong, but gives you no information about what the problem is. It could be a costly issue, like a bad catalytic converter. Or it might be something simple, like a loose gas cap. In most cases you should always head straight to a service shop in Goodrich, MI for a diagnosis and auto repair. They can plug in to the computer, figure out the issue, and correct the problem so you can drive safely on the road. Here are a few reasons why the check engine light might come on:

1. Malfunctioning Sensor
Two important sensors in your car are the mass air flow (MAF) and oxygen sensors. The mass air flow sensor is located between the air filter and intake manifold on the engine and it measures the amount of air entering the engine. The oxygen sensor is about the size of a spark plug and monitors the level of unburned oxygen in the exhaust, and relays information to the computer so the engine can make adjustments to the amount of fuel used for maximum efficiency. A faulty mass air flow or oxygen sensor increases emissions, reduces fuel efficiency, and could result in damaged spark plugs or catalytic converter.

2. Damaged, Loose, or Missing Gas Cap
You might not think a gas cap is very important, but it is. The cap seals your fuel system and helps keep pressure inside the fuel tank. A cracked or loose cap can throw off the entire system. It also keeps gasoline fumes from entering into the atmosphere while your car is parked. If the check engine light comes on and your car isn’t feeling strange or jerky, pull over and check the gas cap. Tighten it down and then watch to see if the check engine light turns off.

3. Faulty Spark Plugs and Wires
In the combustion chamber of the engine, the spark plugs ignite the air and fuel mixture that propels your car. The wires deliver the charge that sparks from the coil to the spark plugs. When the wires or spark plugs fail, your engine will begin to misfire and you will feel a jolt in the acceleration. Get your spark plugs replaced right away and immediately feel how your car runs better.

4. Damaged Catalytic Converter
This part converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, helping to protect you and the environment. If you keep up with routine maintenance, the catalytic converter shouldn’t fail. If however you do not repair deteriorated spark plugs or air sensors, the converter stops converting harmful compounds into less harmful emissions. Besides the check engine light you might also notice poor gas mileage or a lack of acceleration when you press on the gas. At the first sign of these symptoms, you should get your car in for auto repair.

Do Not Ignore the Check Engine Light
Approximately 10 percent of cars on the road are driving with the check engine light on. Of those, half of the drivers of these vehicles have ignored the light for three months or more. While some of these problems are fairly minor, and easy to fix, they could lead to more serious engine trouble if you do not address them. Call Holly Tire for a diagnosis and auto repair in Goodrich, MI. You can reach us or come by 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442 to schedule an appointment.

Categories:

Uncategorized