What Does The Check Engine Light Really Mean?

What Does The Check Engine Light Really Mean? Clapway

The nightmare of almost every driver is having their check engine light come on. This is because this light can mean so many things from large, expensive fixes to simple tune ups. This light should not elicit fear and loathing in vehicle owners. There are pretty much five main reasons why this light would come on, and simple solutions to make it go out.

First Steps To Take

When the light comes on, before running to a mechanic and dropping a couple thousand dollars, there are a few things that may offer a solution. First of all, check to make sure that the gas cap is fully on and not cracked. The drop in compression in the gas tank can cause the light to come on. One may also want to check their belts, hoses, and oil levels which are all factors that can make the light come on.

Is It Oxygen?

We all need oxygen to breath, and so does your vehicle. The oxygen sensor is one way in which your vehicle monitors the oxygen levels in the engine. The oxygen sensor monitors how much fuel is burned in relation to the oxygen levels. If this sensor goes out or is faulty in its operation it can cause a significant decrease in the gas mileage the car will give. If the issue is this sensor and it is faulty it can seriously harm the catalytic converter also.

Catalytic Converter Failure

If the light comes on and it is not the sensor, it could be the catalytic converter. If this part dies or fails there will be a loss of power for the vehicle. This means the individual steps on the gas and the vehicle does not go faster or struggles to accelerate. If the catalytic converter is gone or going one will also experience a drastic reduction in gas mileage. When the catalytic converter goes entirely, the vehicle will not remain running.

Bad Air Flow

The air flow sensor controls the fuel air mix. This is important to keep the car running. There are many times when the engine light will be triggered and it is simply an air filter that was installed incorrectly. Checking this is simple and can prevent the vehicle from stalling out all the time, and having increased emissions.

The Simple Stuff

Simpler reasons for the light coming on include the gas cap, spark plugs and even wires to the spark plugs. If it is the spark plugs they can cause misfires, bad idling as well as stalling. The fix is simple and easy and there are many videos and professionals that can aid with fixing this problem.

No Nonsense Prevention

The best and easiest way to eradicate issues when the check engine light comes on is to go to an auto parts store and have them hook the vehicle up to a code reader. This will help the motorist to know where the issue is and what steps they will need to then take to eradicate the flashing of the light.

Save Money

Every vehicle needs time and patience and maintenance to keep it running right. Replacing old and worn parts before there is an issue is the best way to prevent from seeing the engine light come on. If the light does come on, save some money and have the code reading done. While many times the issue is rather small and inexpensive to fix, it can be something large and expensive and money can be saved knowing this before one starts to replace stuff.