Understanding the Check Engine Light

Small Light, (Potentially) Big Problems

When it comes to the variety of warning signals that are found in your vehicle, nothing creates more stress for drivers than the check engine light. What’s stressful about this small light is not the indication that something’s wrong, it’s the lack of context it provides. Unless you have an engine light diagnostic tool, car owners will have to bring their vehicle into a local shop to determine the true cause of the light.

Although it is best for you to visit a shop as soon as the light is triggered, there are a few common signs you can check to see what caused the light. Here are a few common causes for your check engine light to go off!

Loose Gas Cap

This is the most ideal situation for all drivers. If this is the case, simply stop your vehicle and tighten the gas cap. Once the adjustment has been made, drive around for a little while and give the computer system time to pick up your adjustment. If your current gas cap stays loose, visit an auto parts shop! Many shops sell this item for less than $15!

If left unattended, you could lose more gas due to evaporation. That means more trips to the gas pump and more money spent. Not ideal!

Bad Spark Plugs

Your spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture found in your vehicle’s combustion chamber. The spark plug wire is responsible for delivering the jolt from the ignition coil to the plugs. If you notice that you’re having a difficult time starting your vehicle, this may be the cause of the check engine light. When dealing with this problem, it’s best to leave it to a professional technician as they can quickly replace your spark plugs/spark plug wires without causing any damage!

If left unattended, your vehicle will experience reduced power and fuel economy. Along with that, worn plugs/plug wires can cause damage to your vehicle’s catalytic converter, O2 sensor, and ignition coils!

Dying/Dead Battery

Your vehicle’s battery is responsible for a variety of electrical functions found in your vehicle. From the dashboard lights to charging your phone, the battery works hard to keep your vehicle’s electrical functions going. If you have a hard time starting your vehicle or you notice the radio system randomly trigger on-and-off, that’s a sign of a dying/dead battery. Although you can jumpstart the battery by yourself, if you’re looking to replace the battery it’s best left in the hands of a skilled professional!

If left unattended, you may have a difficult time starting your car and some of your vehicle’s non-essential electrical functions may stop working!

Written by Kyle Rizzoli

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *