A vehicle’s check engine light is one of the most misunderstood indicators on a vehicle, and it frequently causes drivers to become stressed or even panicked when it illuminates unexpectedly. Is this a serious issue? Should I pull over right away? How do I figure out what’s going on? How much will it cost me to fix this problem? Is this going to have a significant impact on my life? At Master Muffler, we want to help you avoid that horrible feeling the next time the light flashes on by educating you about troubleshooting your check engine light.
What is a check engine light?
A check engine light is a warning signal from a car’s computer that something is wrong. In addition to turning on the light, the computer stores in its memory a “trouble code” that identifies the source of the problem, such as a faulty sensor or a misfiring engine.
What To Do About A Check Engine Light
A check engine light simply indicates that a vehicle sensor has detected that something on your vehicle is operating outside of the predefined normal parameters. This could be as simple as a loose gas cap, or it could indicate much more serious problems with the engine’s health. Proceed with caution, pay close attention to your vehicle’s behavior, and bring the vehicle into Master Muffler in South Orem, Utah for further investigation.
Check the gauges and lights on your dashboard for signs of low oil pressure or overheating. Because of these circumstances, you should pull over and turn off the engine as soon as you can find a safe place to do so.
This can frequently solve the problem. Keep in mind that the light may need to be reset several times. Some vehicles have a separate indicator that alerts the driver to a loose gas cap.
- Reduce your speed and load
Reduce your speed and try to reduce the demands on the engine if you notice any serious performance problems, such as a loss of power. Get the car checked out as soon as possible to avoid costly damage.
- Failure of the oxygen sensor
The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system of a vehicle. It sends data to the vehicle’s computer, which uses it to control the air-fuel mixture that enters the cylinders. Even if an oxygen sensor needs to be replaced, an engine will continue to run, but it will consume more fuel than usual. A faulty oxygen sensor can cause long-term damage to components such as spark plugs and the catalytic converter.
- Failure of the catalytic converter
The catalytic converter is built into the exhaust system of a vehicle. It converts the carbon monoxide produced during combustion into carbon dioxide. It’s a fairly simple part, and its failure is frequently avoidable. Maintaining your car’s catalytic converter on a regular basis is critical to keeping it in good working order.
- Problems with the spark plugs or ignition coil
Simply put, an ignition coil produces the electricity required by the spark plugs to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the cylinders. A faulty coil will almost certainly cause the check engine light to illuminate. Spark plugs that are worn or fouled can cause a variety of problems, including engine misfire and hesitation under heavy acceleration. A worn coil can cause the car to shut down unexpectedly and exhibit the same symptoms.
Don’t put off car maintenance until the check engine light illuminates. Many people mistakenly believe that the check engine light serves the same purpose as a check-up reminder, when in fact it alerts you that you are most likely due for a repair. If you stick to a regular maintenance schedule, you might never see that little orange engine light come on at all.