Check Engine Light Reasons

A warning light on your vehicle can be a scary thing to see as you’re driving. Whether your check engine light is red or yellow, find out what this light might mean and what steps you can take to restore your vehicle. From a loose wire to a replacement catalytic converter, learn more about the parts you may need to repair your vehicle.

Faulty Sensors

Your vehicle uses an electrical system to carefully monitor its performance. When one of these sensors is damaged or receives an unusual reading, it alerts your car’s engine control unit. Most of these sensors trip your check engine light.

There are, however, two primary ways that a sensor could cause your warning light to illuminate. First, there may be an issue with your vehicle’s performance. A damaged catalytic converter, leaking fuel line or clogged air filter can all be spotted by an operational sensor. Unfortunately, these sensors may also wear out or become damaged, which could trip the warning light even if your vehicle is running efficiently.

Damaged Spark Plugs

Spark plugs wear out over time. A worn-out spark plug makes it difficult to create a spark to keep your engine running. At first you may only experience difficulties starting your engine or a change in fuel economy, but over time this issue could prevent your engine from operating. Check your spark plugs or have a mechanic inspect them to see if they need to be gapped or replaced.

Wiring Issues

Just like a faulty sensor can cause your warning light to trip, so can a wiring issue. Frayed wires, loose connectors and other issues are common reasons for check engine light. After checking your sensors, check the length of wiring from your engine control unit to the sensor to see if there’s any signs of damage.

Loose Gasoline Cap

An affordable and easy fix is a loose gas cap. Your gas cap seals your fuel tank to prevent fumes from leaking out. Your vehicle has a sensor to monitor this seal to ensure your vehicle doesn’t leak out harmful fumes. A broken seal could also be a sign that your fuel tank or fuel line has a leak.

Tighten your gas cap and see if this solves your check engine light issue. Inspect your cap to see if there are any signs of a damaged seal. Be thankful if this solves your issue, as this is the most affordable and convenient solution.

Serious Issues

Unfortunately, there are many costly issues that are related to a check engine warning light. If you’re experiencing performance issues in connection with this warning, it’s time to look for major damage. Your transmission, exhaust system, engine or engine control unit may be damaged and need extensive repairs. If you notice performance issues or if your warning light is red, be sure to stop as soon as possible to prevent further damage or a sudden stall.

Your check engine light is the first warning sign that your vehicle has an issue, but it can be difficult to determine the cause. For more information and to narrow your search, use a check engine code reader. Purchase one at your local auto parts store or stop by for a free reading to solve this repair problem.

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