5 Common Causes the Check Engine Light Comes On


Independent Auto Repair ShopThe check engine light, every driver's worst nightmare. It comes on and there is an overwhelming feeling of instant pressure to repair your car, presumably at very high cost. Well, yes, you likely will need some diagnostic work, but the outcome may not be that damaging to your car, or your wallet.

Faulty Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is helps reduce harmful emissions by converting carbon monoxide and other hazardous gases into less harmful emissions. Unfortunately, replacing a catalytic converter is one of the priciest common reasons the light goes on. But they generally don't fail unless something else in the vehicle has already bit the dust, such as much less expensive spark plugs or an airflow sensor. So it is important to get your car to a professional technician when the light comes on so that you can get the initial problem fixed for a couple hundred dollars before having to spend thousands on a problem that could have easily been avoided.

Faulty Ignition Coil

A bad coil means that your car won't be able to produce the spark needed to make your internal combustion engine fire on all, or any, cylinders. The coil increases the voltage produced by the 12 volt battery and can go bad for simple reasons like operating under extremely high temperatures, but they are subject to normal wear out over time and need to be replaced.

Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor

This sensor monitors incoming air and calculates how much fuel to inject with it to ensure that the engine continues to run smoothly. If the car's sensor system determines the sensor is malfunctioning the check engine light will turn on. This is usually an inexpensive fix that is important to take care of because is the MAF sensor goes bad, it can harm your fuel efficiency by 10 percent to 25 percent.

Faulty Battery or Charging System

New cars have ever developing systems that are usually more sophisticated in terms of the technology used than last year's model. A car's sensor systems have made batteries and their systems more likely to turn on the check engine light because they are sensitive to high heat and dry weather.

Faulty Gas Cap

If you are lucky, the check engine light is being caused by a loose or faulty gas cap. Gas will evaporate through the opening of a loose or ill-fitting fuel cap causing the light to glow. To avoid an expensive test for a fix that costs next to nothing, be sure your gas cap is tight, every time you fill up.

If your check engine light comes on be sure to reach out to your local technician, like A-1 Automotive in Portland to get the problem diagnosed so you can be on your way worry free, no matter what you drive. Give us a call today at (503) 616-5479 to learn more!

Kory's Blog

Written By Brian Corey

Published By MORBiZ