What Are the Most Common Reasons Why a Check Engine Light Comes On?

You never want the check engine light to come on in your car, truck, or utility vehicle. Studies show that this light is pretty darn accurate when it comes to reporting engine problems. There are many common reasons why a check engine light will come on. Getz Automotive lists those reasons below. 

Clogged Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter can get clogged and begin to malfunction. When this happens, your check engine light will come on and you might smell rotten eggs coming from the engine. It is also common for the engine to overheat if the catalytic converter is clogged.

Electrical/Sensor Problem

An electrical system or sensor problem will also cause the check engine light to illuminate on the dashboard. Usually, a sensor is malfunctioning and this is why the light turns on. In fact, it will turn on when your vehicle’s main computer chip malfunctions.

Loose Fuel Cap

Oddly, your check engine light will come on if you didn’t tighten the fuel cap completely the last time you filled up. This cap is designed to create a seal over the fuel tank to prevent fuel from evaporating out of the tank. The check engine light is sensitive to this.

Mass Airflow Sensor Failure

The mass airflow sensor is also called the MAF sensor. It is tasked with measuring the airflow coming into the engine. The sensor can fail and it can also get dirty. Either problem will prevent the MAF sensor from doing its job properly, and you’ll get a check engine warning.

Oxygen Sensor Malfunction

The same is true with the oxygen or O2 sensor. When this sensor malfunctions, your check engine light comes on. This sensor is critical to your vehicle’s exhaust. It reports how much oxygen is found in the exhaust to your automobile’s main computer.

Vacuum Leak

Your car, truck, or utility vehicle uses the vacuum created by the engine’s combustion to power accessories and components. If you end up with a vacuum leak, you will not only notice a problem with your accessories and components but also a check engine warning.

Worn Spark Plugs

Finally, the spark plugs are what fire up your engine and keep it running. They work the entire time your engine is running, which means they need to be replaced when they wear out. When they do wear out, your engine won’t fire properly and you will end up with an illuminated check engine light.

Getz Automotive in Fuquay-Varina, NC, can figure out why your check engine light has come on and fix the problem. Call us today to set up a service appointment.

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