An estimated 1 in 10 cars on the road today have their check engine light on, according to a study done by CarMD.com. Many drivers ignore the light because they either don’t think it’s important or they’re afraid of ending up with an expensive repair bill.
A check engine light can be extremely confusing because it doesn’t give you any information about the problem. Ignoring it, though, could cost you beaucoup bucks down the road!
Here are a few of the most common problems that might be causing your check engine light to come on:
- Gas cap is loose. This problem doesn’t require any replacement parts or cost, so it’s a good place to start. Simply check to make sure your gas cap isn’t loose and tighten it down if it is. It may take some time for the check engine light to go off, but it eventually should if that was the problem.
- Oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. Your car has 2-4 oxygen sensors. These sensors monitor your vehicle’s air-fuel mixture and adjust as needed. When one isn’t working properly, it decreases your gas mileage and increases the amount of emissions that are produced.
- Catalytic converter needs to be replaced. Replacing your catalytic converter can get expensive, but often it only breaks if some of these lesser problems are ignored for a long time. The catalytic converter is important because it reduces the amount of harmful gases that come out of your car’s exhaust.
- Mass air flow sensor needs to be replaced. The mass air flow sensor monitors the fuel injection system and how much air is getting into the engine. If this sensor is broken, it decreases your gas mileage and often causes your car to stall.
- Spark plugs and wires need to be replaced. Spark plugs need to be replaced periodically depending on the age of your car. When they are wearing out, they’ll start to misfire and cause issues with your vehicle’s combustion chamber.
These are the five most common issues that may be causing your check engine light to turn on, but there are others as well.
Bottom line: If your check engine light is on, don’t wait to get it checked out by one of our ASE-certified technicians. Finding out the problem sooner than later can save you from a costly repair down the road!