When you see the “check engine” light pop up on your car’s dashboard, it can mean a number of things, some of them which will require immediate attention. It’s important to get your car checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible if you see this light come on.
Here are a few of the causes of a check engine light:
- A loose gas cap — Sometimes a loose gas cap can trigger your check engine light. If the light comes on, you might want to tighten your gas cap and see if the light goes away. Or if the cap is damaged in some way and will not tighten completely, you’ll want to replace it with a new one.
- Failed or failing oxygen sensor — Your car’s oxygen sensor sends important information to your vehicle’s computer, which helps it properly regulate the amount of air and fuel that enters the car’s cylinders. When an oxygen sensor fails, your car will use more fuel and further damage can be caused over time.
- Issues with spark plug or ignition coil — A fraying or faulty spark plug or ignition coil can also activate your check engine light. This is a relatively inexpensive thing to replace, but leaving it unaddressed can cause a variety of engine issues, and even cause your car to turn off without warning.
- Failed or failing catalytic converter — When this exhaust emission control device is on the fritz, it may trigger your check engine light. When your catalytic converter is failing, it typically also means that there are other issues with your car (spark plugs, oxygen sensor, etc.) that also need to be addressed.
- Failed or failing mass airflow sensor — When the mass airflow sensor, which monitors the amount of air that enters your car’s engine, is failing, it will also likely trigger your check engine light. A failed mass airflow sensor will cause many issues with your engine’s proper operation, and can cause long-term damage to the engine as well as making your car less fuel-efficient.
- Car battery about to die — One other potential cause of a check engine light is that your car battery is on its way out. Getting the battery replaced soon will be keep you from getting stranded somewhere when it does give out.
What to do if your check engine light comes on
If your check engine light comes on, it’s important to get your car checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. Letting the issue go for too long could cause further damage to your car and make the cost for any repairs more expensive.
If your schedule keeps you from getting to a mechanic quickly, then a great way to take care of the repair is to have the mechanic come to you. A mobile mechanic can come and perform a complete vehicle inspection on the spot, wherever you are, and can even perform the needed services and repairs on site! So if your check engine light comes on, don’t panic. While the cause could be a range of problems, a mechanic will be able to easily identify the cause and get you on your way in no time.