The check engine warning sign on dashboards could be very unsettling.
The reason that particular indicator flickers could be such a mystery to a driver.
It is also frustrating because you know you need to take the car to a service workshop, even when you are not aware of what the problem is.
Now, here are the top 5 reasons why your check engine light often come on. Knowing them will help minimize worries, frustration and paranoia.
Note, going for a computer scan for your car remains the most accurate way to determine why your check engine indicator comes one.
Your Oxygen (O2) Sensor needs replacing
A bad Oxygen sensor may be a reason why your check engine light is on.
The oxygen sensor is the component in the car that measures the amount of unburned oxygen in your vehicle’s exhaust system.
When it develops a defect, your engine will burn more fuel than needed. You will experience loss of fuel economy (sometime up to 40% if ignored). Faulty sensor(s) can cause damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter. When all these are noticed, it is advised that the oxygen sensor be replaced.
Fuel tanker cap is loose, damaged or missing
Another reason that your check engine light flickers could be if your fuel tank cap or cover is loose, damaged or missing.
The fuel tank cap seals the fuel system. It also helps maintain pressure within the fuel tank. It also prevents fuel fumes (hydrocarbons) from being released into the atmosphere when you are not driving your car.
If the fuel tank cap is loose, you can lose fuel through evaporation.
Bad Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is a component of a car that converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. In other words, it protects our environment by converting harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Damage to it occurs due to neglected or improper maintenance. If the catalytic converter is not replaced, you will experience reduced performance and fuel economy. Also, your vehicle will not pass an emissions test and your car may run at a higher temperature.
Mass Airflow Sensor needs replacing (MAF)
When a car’s mass airflow sensor is due for replacement, it causes the check engine light to come on.
The mass airflow sensor is a device in a car that measures the amount of air entering the engine. It does this to determine how much fuel is needed to run your engine efficiently.
A faulty mass airflow sensor can damage the spark plug, catalytic converter and oxygen sensor. Also, bad airflow sensor can lead to reduced engine performance and poor fuel economy.
Spark Plugs or Plug Wires need replacing
The function of the spark plug is to ignite the mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber of your vehicle. The spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs.
If the spark plug or plug wires are not replaced, you will experience poor engine performance (reduced power, engine missing) and reduced fuel economy.
A bad or worn-out plugs and plug wires can cause clogged catalytic converter or damage to ignition coils and oxygen sensors.
When this is the case, expect your check-engine indicator to come on.