In this fast paced technology controlled era, most automobiles are packed with equipment to keep us safe and let us know when something goes wrong. One of these warning devices is the ‘Check Engine Light’. A check engine light is intended to warn the drivers if there is something in the engine that needs attention. These problems can vary from potentially catastrophic malfunctions to missing fuel caps. The check engine light ensures regular maintenance, which can help your car to work efficiently for a longer period of time.
The check engine light is basically a tell-tale, which indicates a malfunction in a computerized engine management system. Most automobiles have this warning device in the instrument panel present behind the steering wheel. When the check engine light is lit, the engine control unit stores a fault code according to the malfunction. This code can be read with a scan tool, however, in some automobiles a scan tool is not necessary. A check engine light can be lit because of many reasons.
- Fuel Cap Missing:
You fuel cap seals the fuel system and helps maintain the pressure within the fuel tank and also prevents the release of fuel fumes in the atmosphere. You can tighten the fuel cap yourself if it is just loose. However, if it is damaged or missing, the mechanic will not charge you much for this problem.
- Catalytic Converter Replacement:
A catalytic converter is an eco-friendly device installed in your vehicle to protect the environment. It converts Carbon Monoxide into Carbon Dioxide. This problem usually occurs due to neglected maintenance of your vehicle. Replacing a catalytic converter is an expensive fix. The best way to avoid this is regular maintenance because a damaged catalytic converter can cause many problems such as the vehicle running on high temperature.
- O2 Sensor:
You oxygen sensor measure the amount of unburned oxygen in your vehicles exhaust system. If damaged, your vehicle may burn more fuel than usual or affect other sensors. What you can do is get your oxygen sensor repaired or replaced as it is relatively cheap.
- Spark Plugs or Plug Wires Need Replacement:
Your spark plugs ignite the mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber of your vehicle. The spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coils to the spark plugs. If damaged, these spark plugs or wires can reduce performance. This replacement is relatively cheap, long-lasting and can ensure efficient vehicle performance.
- Mass Air Flow Sensor Replacement:
The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor helps to measure the amount of air entering the engine. This calculates the fuel you need for your car, which ensures efficient car performance. The mass air flow sensor can be a costly fix. The best way to avoid this is to keep your vehicle’s air filter clean. This will help prevent any damage to the MAF sensor.
There are many reasons which can cause your check engine light to be illuminated. However, the above mentioned reasons are the most common and when dealt with regularly, they can ensure high-performance of vehicle for a long time.