Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light May Be On

The dreaded Check Engine light. The light is a signal from the car’s engine computer letting you know that something is wrong. While it could mean something minor, it could also mean a costly repair looms in your future. Check Engine lights are paired with codes that tell us what has triggered the light. Bring your vehicle into Accountable Auto Care and we can help you diagnose the problem.

Here are the most common reasons that might cause your Check Engine light to turn on. However, if your Check Engine light is flashing, it is indicating a more serious problem and requires immediate attention.

Loose Gas Cap

If the gas cap isn’t completely tightened after filling up your tank, the Check Engine light may come on. Turn off your vehicle, check the tightness of the cap, then restart your vehicle. You may have to drive a short distance for the Check Engine light to turn off. This is a good place to start when trying to fix the reason for the light.

Problem with the Mass Air Flow System

Your car may be showing signs of a general decrease in power or sluggishness. This light may be triggered by a simple sensor connection problem, a bad or dirty wiring connection, or the Mass Air Flow Sensor may be faulty.

System Running Too Lean or Rich

Oxygen is a crucial component of the combustion reaction that drives your engine. The engine requires the right amount of oxygen to run most efficiently, however.

If oxygen is too abundant (lean condition), you may notice a lack of power, knock, and/or a hesitation/surge on acceleration. These could be caused by a dirty Mass Air Flow sensor or air filter, or a vacuum or exhaust leak in the system.

On the other hand, when there is too much fuel relative to oxygen (rich condition), the Check Engine light can be triggered. This condition can be caused by a dirty or faulty Mass Air Flow sensor, air filter, a blockage or restriction in the airstream, a fuel pressure, fuel injector or fuel delivery problem.

Cylinder Misfire

When this condition triggers your Check Engine light, your engine may be hard to start, it may stumble, and/or hesitate, and you may experience other driveability symptoms. You may have faulty spark plugs or spark plug wires, a bad ignition coil, a vacuum or air leak, or a serious mechanical problem in your engine.

Other Conditions

Other common conditions that trigger your Check Engine light include:

  • Knock Sensor Circuit Malfunction
  • Insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow
  • Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold

Don’t wait too long to have your vehicle checked by an experienced mechanic. Come see Accountable Auto Care and we will make sure your engine and emission control system is operating like it should.

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