Is This Why Your Check Engine Light Is On?

Common Causes

You start your vehicle up to find the dreaded moment has come. Your check engine light is on and you have no clue why. First, don’t panic! Your automotive support team at Rizzoli’s Automotive in Santa Maria, California is here for you! Our technicians have a great idea of the common causes of check engine lights and can accurately diagnose your vehicle’s problem to provide precise repair. Before your thoughts and worries spiral out of control, take a look at these common check engine light triggers. There’s a good chance your vehicle needs one of these issues addressed!

  1. Loose Gas Cap
  2. Before you lose your mind wondering what serious problem is plaguing your vehicle, check the gas cap. If your check engine light illuminates just as you are pulling away from the pump, it’s likely trying to remind you to close the cap! Tighten the cap in place and continue driving for a little while to see if the light disengages. If you’ve lost your cap completely, seek a replacement at a local auto parts store.

  3. Failed Oxygen Sensor
  4. The O2 sensors measure how much unburnt oxygen is released in the exhaust. It sends information to the vehicle’s computer to regulate the mixture of air and fuel used in combustion. Eventually, the sensor may go bad and require a quick replacement. In that case, the vehicle alerts the driver through the check engine light. While you can continue driving your car with a bad O2 sensor, the damage could spread to the spark plugs and catalytic converter.

  5. Failed Catalytic Converter
  6. As part of the exhaust system, the catalytic converter turns carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Failure is easily prevented by keeping all parts in the system in good condition and getting regular oil changes, which may save drivers from costly repairs. Catalytic converters can be costly to replace!

  7. Aftermarket Alarm Issues
  8. An aftermarket alarm can create a whole suite of problems if improperly installed. It may drain the battery, trigger the check engine light, or prevent the engine from starting. If your aftermarket alarm causes these problems or seemingly goes off for no reason, consider getting it fixed by a professional.

These are just a few ideas of what might be causing your vehicle’s check engine light. As complicated machines, vehicles can experience all kinds of issues, so it’s always best to seek professional service for check engine light diagnostics and repair. Ask the experts at Rizzoli’s Automotive in Santa Maria, California, we’d be happy to help!

Written by Kyle Rizzoli

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