Check Engine Light: why you can’t ignore it?
Suppose you are driving in your vehicle, and suddenly a yellow light pops up in your dashboard, looking like the outline of a car’s engine. This indicator is telling you to check up your engine, as something may be wrong with your car. In this situation, it is best to call your local TIRECRAFT for service.
What does the check engine light mean?
The check engine light, also known as the malfunction indicator lamp on the dashboard, is a warning or signal that the onboard diagnostics system has detected a malfunction in the vehicle’s emissions, ignition, fuel, or exhaust systems. Check engine lights come in orange, yellow, or amber, depending on the vehicle’s manufacturer.
If the light begins flashing, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire or other serious issue that requires repair and should be dealt with quickly.
If the engine light is illuminated but isn’t flashing, before rushing to any mechanic, first tighten the gas cap yourself as a loose gas cap can trigger a check engine warning.
Why is your check engine light on?
The check engine light comes on for countless reasons. While there is a chance of a major fault, it is sometimes likely that the problem could be something minor. Here are some of the most common reasons why your check engine light might be on-
- Ignition system problems – The ignition system includes bad spark plugs, coil packs, and everything needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture. A bad spark plug can cause several issues like a clogged catalytic converter, damage oxygen sensors, and ignition coils. It can also lead to poor performance power, reduced fuel economy, and engine misfiring.
- Loose fuel filler cap – A bad or loose fuel filler cap is another problem that causes the check engine light to appear. The function of the filler cap is to seal the fuel system to keep the pressure inside the fuel tank. It also helps prevent gasoline fumes from being unleashed into the atmosphere while you aren’t driving your vehicle. Tighten the fuel filler cap if it’s loose or if you see the damage, replace the cap.
- Oxygen sensor failure – If you don’t replace a bad oxygen sensor, your car engine will burn more fuel than required. Additionally, the bad sensors also cause damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter. Thus, it makes your vehicle lose fuel economy and get fewer miles per gallon of fuel.
- Bad catalytic converter – It secures the environment by changing carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. If it is not maintained, it gives a result of check engine light to show up.
- Transmission problems – As your car’s transmission manipulates the engine power and transfers it to wheels as such two assemblies work together so closely, transmission can also increase tailpipe emissions. That’s why, if there is any problem with the transmission, then the control module detects it and thus turns on the check engine light.
- Vacuum leak – If the idle of your car begins to surge or even settles at the unnecessary high RPM, then this may occur because of a vacuum leak, and as a result, it turns on the check engine light.
What to do if your engine light is on?
You won’t know what to do with an engine light warning until a professional diagnoses your car. We recommend visiting your nearby TIRECRAFT and get your vehicle diagnosed and repaired by our technicians.
You can also apply some tips by yourself if the check engine light comes on. These are-
- Try tightening the gas cap – You can try tightening the gas cap; it may often solve the problem temporarily. You should also keep in mind that it may take several trips before you want the light to actually resets.
- Reduce speed and load – If the check engine light is blinking or there is a loss of power, then try to reduce your speed and load on the engine.
- Look for a serious problem – Try to check the dashboard lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating, and if something like this appears, this means you should shut off the vehicle’s engine as soon as you can. Problems that require attention as soon as the check engine light comes on are –
- An unplugged or loose wire – A mouse or squirrel can easily destroy or loosen a wire.
- Low oil pressure -If your car is low on oil, it can cause your check engine light to go off, and this can be visible to you on the dashboard with a glowing light along with the check engine light.
- Overheating – If your car’s engine temperature is heating up, it can be because of the check engine light. If you see the temperature gauge rising, stop your vehicle as soon as possible.
Bring your vehicle to your local TIRECRAFT shop where our technicians can run your vehicle through a code reader and do a physical inspection to determine what may be the source of your check engine light turning on. For questions or to book an appointment, call now!