Check engine neon sign bright

Here’s Why You Should Never Ignore Your Vehicle’s Check Engine Light

Top Five Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light Is On

The check engine light, more formally known as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), is a signal from the vehicle’s engine-management system indicating that something is wrong. This orange, engine-shaped icon on your dashboard can be frustrating as it doesn’t explain what the exact problem is. However, you should never ignore it. Below you will find the top five reasons why your check engine light is on. This list will help you find a solution on your own or, at least, estimate how much you will spend at the repair shop.

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Why Is My Car’s Engine Warning Light On?
  • Mechanic repairing engine in service shopLoose Gas Cap – A broken or loose gas cap is one of the main reasons the check engine light turns on, hence it should be the first item you check. If the gas cap isn’t well tightened or appears cracked, fuel vapors can leak out and reduce the gas tank’s pressure. This causes a reduction in gas mileage and increases emissions.
  • Oxygen Sensor – This type of sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. When the oxygen sensor is damaged, the engine will burn more fuel than usual. Postponing its replacement can unleash more complex problems like impaired spark plugs or a busted catalytic converter.
  • Catalytic Converter – Integrated into the exhaust system, the catalytic converter is responsible for converting pollutant gases like carbon monoxide into less harmful ones, like carbon dioxide. Its failure is easy to prevent if you perform regular car maintenance. It’s also recommendable to take the car on the highway every now and then to avoid the catalytic converter from clogging.
  • Mass Air Flow Sensor – This sensor monitors the amount of air entering the engine and determines how much fuel is required to run the engine efficiently. The symptoms of its failure include rough idling, engine stalling and a decrease in gas mileage. You can drive for some weeks without replacing it, but don’t wait too long or more serious problems will appear.
  • Spark Plug Wires – Its function is transferring electricity from the ignition coil to the combustion chamber to ignite the fuel/air mixture. In modern cars, the spark plugs can last up to 100,000 miles but eventually, they will fail. Luckily, this type of breakdown doesn’t cost as much money as fixing other car problems like a failing catalytic converter. In case you drive a diesel, you should keep in mind that your car won’t have any spark plugs, so you can remove this factor from your list.

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It’s important to keep in mind that these are the most common reasons for the check engine light to illuminate, but not the only ones. If you ever find yourself in this situation near Lubbock, TX, schedule service at Carizma Motors and our friendly and qualified staff will contact you as soon as possible.