What to do when your check engine light comes on

The Top Five Reasons a Check Engine Light Comes On

It’s pretty frequent that a person comes in for service at Harbin Auto and, when asked what the problem seems to be, they simply shrug. “Don’t know,” they’ll say. “‘Check Engine’ light was on.” This begs an all-too-common question: what causes the Check Engine light to come on? We’ve seen these lights for ages, and we’re pretty confident that we know the top five reasons a check engine light comes on.

1) An Oxygen Sensor needs replacing. This is generally the most common reason the light will begin to invade your line of sight. If you weren’t already aware, the oxygen sensor measures how much unburned oxygen exists in your car’s exhaust system. Avoiding replacing your oxygen sensor will cause your car to burn more fuel than usual, and may damage your spark plugs as well.

What to do when your service engine light comes on2) You have a faulty, loose or missing gas cap. You might think that a gas cap is a mostly unnecessary part, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It seals the fuel tank and helps maintain the pressure in the tank, and prevents fumes from being released into the air. If this is the case, you might lose more fuel than usual through evaporation.

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3) You need to replace your catalytic converter. A catalytic converter is an absolutely essential component that protects the environment by converting carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If yours isn’t working correctly, you might experience reduced performance and your car probably won’t pass an emissions test.

4) Your mass airflow sensor is faulty. If your MAF sensor is out, your car won’t measure the amount of air entering your engine to get a read on how much fuel to burn. If yours is out, you’ll burn more fuel or experience reduced power, and potentially harm your spark plugs, oxygen sensors or catalytic converter.

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5) Your spark plugs/wires need replacing. As you well know, spark plugs ignite the fuel/air mixture that allows your car to run. Not surprisingly, the wires connected to them are also important, as they deliver the spark from the ignition coil. Worn plugs will cause a clogged catalytic converter, and definitely limit the performance of your vehicle.

As you can see, having a check engine light go on is never something to be ignored. Is your dashboard trying to tell you something? If so, schedule your service appointment today at Harbin Automotive!