Auto Repair

The ABCs of Your Vehicle’s Check Engine Light Warning

No driver likes it when the check engine light comes on. Some respond in fear; others lose their cool. No matter your initial reaction, try not to panic. There are a handful of primary reasons why a check engine light comes on that we’re going to list below. No matter the trouble, Midwest Auto Care can fix it. Let’s play the alphabet game with your vehicle’s check engine warning light.

C Is for Catalytic Converter

If your vehicle’s catalytic converter is malfunctioning, your check engine will come on because your car, truck, or SUV is releasing harmful gases through the exhaust. The catalytic converter takes carbon monoxide and switches it to carbon dioxide. You will receive a warning if something is wrong.

F Is for Fuel Cap

You can fix this problem yourself. If your check engine light comes on right after you filled up with gas, you probably didn’t screw the gas cap on tightly when you were finished pumping the fuel. Check the cap to make sure it’s secured. If it is but old, it may have lost its seal and you’ll need to replace it.

M Is for Mass Airflow Sensor

Your automobile uses combustion to run. Air and gasoline are mixed in the carburetor to create the ignition mixture. The mass airflow (MAF) sensor measures the amount of air needed in the engine to get it started and keep it running. If the mixture is off because the MAF is malfunctioning, your vehicle’s computer system will trigger a check engine warning so you know something is up.

O Is for Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor is responsible for measuring the oxygen levels being released through your vehicle’s exhaust. A failing oxygen sensor is one of the most common reasons why a check engine light illuminates on the dashboard. Not only will your check engine light come on, but you’ll also fail any emissions tests that you have due. Replacing the sensor usually fixes the problem.

S Is for Spark Plugs

Finally, even though spark plugs today last much longer than they used to, they still need to be replaced when they’ve worn down. If your plugs are worn, they might not be firing correctly and you’ll notice this on the dashboard in the form of the check engine light and also in your vehicle’s handling. Usually, worn-out spark plugs will make your vehicle’s engine misfire and even stall.

Call Midwest Auto Care at 219-244-2510 if your light is coming on. We’re located in Lake Station, IN, and we’ll get to the bottom of the problem.

Photo by Tfoxfoto from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

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