Do you know what that tiny indicator light on your dashboard that resembles a genie bottle means? An illuminated check engine light is your car’s way of telling you that something is wrong. While it may not be an emergency, it’s a smart idea to have your car looked at if its check engine light is on. But what causes a check engine light to pop on? The auto repair experts at Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair in Encinitas, California, are here to explain.
Here are five common culprits behind an illuminated check engine light.
Also called O2 sensors, your car’s oxygen sensors efficiently monitor how much fuel your vehicle burns. Many modern cars have between two and four sensors. However, if even one oxygen sensor is faulty, it will trigger your check engine light. This issue can also decrease fuel efficiency and damage your catalytic converter.
If your check engine light is on, hopefully, a loose gas cap is to blame. If you didn’t screw your gas cap on tight enough, it could cause the check engine light to come on. Simply park your car and wiggle the gas cap. If it’s loose, tighten it and then check to see if your check engine light went dark again.
Your vehicle’s mass airflow sensor measures how much air is entering the engine. If this critical sensor starts to fail, it can cause increased emissions and engine stalling. One of the leading causes of a bad airflow sensor is a dirty air filter. If it’s old or blocked, the sensor can fail.
A worn-out catalytic converter is an expensive repair. The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system essential to your vehicle and controls the toxic fumes your car expels. If it’s broken, your check engine light may come on.
As part of your vehicle’s ignition system, spark plugs are an essential component of any well-working car. If a spark plug goes bad, it could cause your check engine light to illuminate.
If your check engine light is on, it’s smart to have your car diagnosed by a professional. Call Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair in Encinitas, California, today at (760) 632-0830 to schedule your service appointment.