Are You Asking Yourself The Question: Why Is My Check Engine Light On? If Yes, You Should Click Here To Learn More About What To Do.
You’re preparing to go to work. When you turn on the car, the car engine light is on.
You’re wondering in frustration, “why is my check engine light on?” The light came on at the worst possible time, as you’re already ten minutes late for work.
You wonder if you should use the car while the engine light is on.
What can a check engine light mean?
A yellow check engine light can mean a host of issues, such as gas cap problems, spark plug problems, catalytic converter problems, or oxygen sensor problems. Regardless, you should take your car to a mechanic immediately when the light comes on.
Even though a check engine light can point to a minor issue, it could also highlight a serious problem in the making. This article will show you what to do if your engine light came on. Read further if you wish to know more.
How Do I Know If My Car Needs Serious Repairs?
Your car may need heavy repairs if the check engine light blinks. A blinking engine light indicates that your car may cease operation sooner rather than later. Therefore, you should have a professional look at it immediately.
A solid car engine light that’s on may indicate a minor issue. Also, your car could be telling you that a maintenance requirement is on the horizon.
However, even a solid check engine light can point to significant repairs needed. Overall, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my car sputter while sitting idle in traffic?
- Does my car struggle to start when you turn it on?
- Does my car accelerate slowly?
- Do my gauges indicate overheating or low pressure?
Failing to fix your car as the lights blink could worsen the problem. For instance, you could damage a burning valve or the catalytic converter, both of which could cause engine damage.
Check Your Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, protecting the environment.
The converter can degrade due to poor maintenance. A poor converter can also cause high temperatures within the engine. It can also reduce your fuel economy.
If the converter is dirty, you can apply the catalytic converter cleaner to maintain it properly. However, replacing a converter entirely is more labor-intensive.
Therefore, take the car to a mechanic if the catalytic converter is the issue. You can also get a diagnostic to know for certain.
Check The Gas Cap
Another reason your check engine light is on is because of the gas cap. Gas caps typically come with a special vacuum seal that stabilizes pressure within the fuel tank. A broken or loose seal can cause the check engine light to come on.
If a loose gas cap is an issue, replace it immediately. You could fail an emissions test if you have a broken gas cap.
Further, your car can burn fuel faster due to excess evaporation. Your car could also lose gas even when your car isn’t on.
First, check the gas cap seal to see if it suffers from wear of any kind. If it’s dirty, clean it before replacing it. If the problem persists, you may need to repair or replace the gas cap.
Before replacing the gas cap, however, check your owner’s manual to find the right type for your car. From there, purchase the right gas cap from your local dealer or auto shop. You can also take the car to a mechanic if you cannot find the right part.
Check The Oxygen Sensor
This sensor gauges unburned oxygen within the car’s exhaust system. This is another problem that could burn more fuel than usual.
Your car will also decrease in fuel economy, losing miles per gallon. Bad sensors can also cause damage to the catalytic converter and spark plugs.
To fix the issue, open the hood to check for loose wiring or hoses. A loose component may cause the sensors to go awry.
If you cannot find anything unusual, take it to a professional. A professional repair shop can detect an oxygen sensor issue with a diagnostic tool to assess the problem.
- Note: A diagnostic tool isn’t the same as a code reader, which is available at your local auto store. A code reader can also diagnose an oxygen sensor issue.
After, a mechanic or professional can give you a repair estimate. Only fix the oxygen sensor if you have experience doing so. Otherwise, refer to a professional to address the issue.
Replace Spark Plugs
The spark plugs spur the fuel/air mixture within the combustion section of your engine. Bad spark plugs will cause diminished power within your engine, including lower fuel economy. In addition, it can hamper performance on your ignition coils and catalytic converter.
Spark plugs that cause your engine to misfire will cause your service engine light to come on.
If you want to check your spark plugs, refer to your owner’s manual. However, you can find the spark plugs easily based on the engine type:
- Four-Cylinder Engine: You’ll find the plugs at the side or top of the engine, fixed in a row
- Six-Cylinder Engine: You’ll find them at the side or top of the engine head. You may find separated plugs on the side of the engine, including for the V8 engine.
In other cases, you may have to remove the engine cover to locate the plugs. Regardless, check with a professional if you’re unsure.
You can replace the plugs on your own by buying new ones from your local auto shop. If you don’t have your owner’s manual, you can use online car repair manuals for more information.
Why Is My Check Engine Light On Even After I Repaired My Car?
If you repair your vehicle and the check engine light remains on, it could be a computer issue. You can have a professional turn off the engine light after the repair process.
If you’re wondering, “why is my check engine light on?” before repairs begin, check with a professional. A shop or auto store has the necessary tools to diagnose the problem precisely. However, a mechanic can determine the problem in greater detail.
Interested in reading more? Read more of our articles to learn more about car troubles.