When the Check Engine Light suddenly pops up, it always means that a trip to the mechanic for engine diagnostic is imminent. Most of the times, it will come without warning, but the good news is that you don’t always have to panic when you see the light. You can easily diagnose why it is on, and here are some of the likely reasons for its appearance-:
1. Your oxygen sensor needs replacing
The function of the oxygen sensor is to measure the amount of unburnt oxygen in the car’s exhaust system. The state of the sensor can be revealed with a car diagnostic. If it is not replaced, the engine will consume more fuel than necessary, and you may experience a loss of fuel economy of up to 40%. Such a sensor can also damage the catalytic converter and the spark plugs.
2. Loose, damaged or missing gas cap
The function of the gas cap is to seal the fuel system and to maintain the right pressure within the fuel tank system. It is also responsible for blocking gasoline fumes from getting released into the atmosphere when the car is not in use. If it is loose, damaged or missing, the check engine light will pop up, and if not replaced or fixed, you will lose a lot of fuel through evaporation, leading to more trips to the gas station.
3. Faulty Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter helps in protecting the environment through the conversion of harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Checking on the catalytic converter is usually done during inspection or a full car diagnostic. It can be damaged due to lack of maintenance, and if not replaced in good time, it will make the car fail emission tests, lower the performance and fuel economy of the vehicle and it may make the car operate at very high temperatures.
4. The spark plugs are failing
The spark plug is what ignites the air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber to ignite the vehicle at the start. If the spark plugs or the plug wires become faulty and are not replaced, poor performance and reduced fuel economy may be experienced. Additionally, crapped out plugs and plug wires may clog the catalytic converter or maybe damage the ignition coil and the carbon dioxide sensors.
5. Problems with the Mass Air Flow Sensors
The primary function of the mass air flow sensor is to measure the amount of air accessing the engine and to calculate the amount of fuel needed to make the engine run smoothly and efficiently. If it has any problems, the check engine light will pop up, and a replacement will be necessary. If this is not done, the spark plugs, the carbon dioxide sensors or the catalytic converter may be affected. These will ultimately lead to poor performance and poor fuel economy.
As a responsible car owner, you should not wait for the check engine light before you think about running an engine diagnostic. Make it a habit as part of your car maintenance practices. Visit Sonoma Auto Tech’s website, www.sonomaautotech.com for a FREE Check Engine Light Scan coupon.