What it Means If Your Check Engine Light Keeps Coming On

Your check engine light is not something to ignore, but we don’t mean to sound like your mom. We here at Advanced Automotive make it our job to take check engine light warnings seriously because this dashboard light covers problems that aren’t included in other warning lights. If the light comes on, there is something going on that could be serious, so stop driving your automobile and have it towed to us. Here are common reasons why the check engine light comes on.

Bad Oxygen (O2) Sensor

The oxygen sensor is part of your vehicle’s exhaust system and it measures the oxygen being released in the engine exhaust. If the O2 sensor is failing, your light will come on and you might also notice a reduction in your fuel economy. If you don’t replace the oxygen sensor, it can damage other exhaust system parts and your spark plugs, so make sure to have it tested at the first warning light.

Bad Catalytic Converter

The check engine light could also be warning you of catalytic converter problems. This, too, is part of your vehicle’s exhaust system, and when it goes bad, you might also smell sulfur or rotten eggs. Oftentimes, a failing catalytic converter will overheat the engine, and you definitely won’t pass a vehicle emissions test with a dead or dying catalytic converter.

Bad Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)

The mass airflow sensor monitors the airflow coming into your engine so it can adjust the fuel usage. Your automobile has a combustion engine that mixes air and fuel to ignite the gasoline. If the MAF is going bad, you’ll receive a check engine light warning and also damage the O2 sensor, catalytic converter, and spark plugs. As with the O2 sensor, you’ll also see an increase in fuel consumption.

Bad Spark Plugs and/or Wires

You’ve seen a pattern throughout this blog so far; all of these parts can affect each other and the spark plugs are no exception. When your spark plugs are going bad, misfiring, or the plug wires need to be replaced, this affects the ignition and your check engine light will come on. You will also experience engine performance loss, stalls, and you could damage the ignition coils if you don’t replace the plugs.

Unsealed Gas Cap

Finally, the gas cap creates a vacuum seal over the tank to ensure the fumes, which are hazardous to the environment, do not escape. If the gas cap is too loose or cannot create a vacuum seal anymore, your check engine will come on. Check your gas cap and tighten it if it is too loose. If this doesn’t turn off the check engine light, the cap might need to be replaced or something else is wrong.

Advanced Automotive in Stanwood, WA, can run a diagnostic check to determine why your vehicle’s check engine light keeps coming on. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Ensup from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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