What should you do when your Check Engine Light is on?

 

The check engine light is one of the most dreaded little, orange light that will start to make you panic once it’s on your vehicle dashboard. 

 

Before you allow yourself to get too worried about the check engine light and think that you will be without your vehicle for weeks. Let try and figure out the most common reason that light can come on. Most of them are simple fixes and won’t have you taking out a loan to fix. 

 

What is a check engine light and why does it turn on?

 

Think of the check engine light as the only way your car has of telling you something is wrong. From a gas cap is not screwed on tight, all the way to you need to replace the entire engine. If either of these things is happening or anything in between your check engine light can turn on. 

 

The only way that your car can communicate to you that something is wrong is by turning on the check engine light. It can be something as little as the gas cap to the whole engine having a problem. So in order to understand what is going on you need to be able to have the right tools and sometimes you have to inspect the vehicle to dig a little deeper for the answer. 

 

These are the top five reasons your check engine light turns on. Then how serious it is on a scale from 1-10.

 

1. Your gas cap is loose (0)

Your gas cap closes the fuel system and keeps the pressure in the fuel tank. If the pressure is not correct it can set off the check engine light.

 

2. Your O2 Sensor needs to be replaced (2)

This measures the amount of oxygen that is not burned in your exhaust system.

 

3. Catalytic Converter needs to be replaced (4)

A Catalytic Converter keeps our environment clean by catching carbon monoxide leaving your exhaust system.

 

4. Mass Airflow Sensor (4)

It’s named is pretty accurate, this measures how much air is entering the engine to know how much gas is needed for your engine to work properly.

 

5. Spark Plugs or Plug Wires needs to be replaced (2)

The Spark Plugs job is to light the air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. The wires give the spark through the ignition coil and delivers it to the spark plugs.

 

Now you can take a deep breath, just because your check engine light is on does not mean it is less expensive to buy a new car. It means something in your car needs some attention. Is it still possible it could be something worse? Of course, however, these are the most likely issues and most of them are about the same cost to fix as a car payment or two.

 

What should I do?

 

First, check your gas cap. Screw it on nice and tight and see if that fixes the problem. The next thing is to bring it in for an inspection, we don’t charge to take 10 minutes and plug in our scan tool and use our auto stethoscope to get an idea what the problem is. 

 

We have state of the art tools and our technicians have worked on over half a million vehicles combined. We pride ourselves on giving you the right diagnosis the first time, this saves you time and money.

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