Why is the Check Engine Light On?
Every car is equipped with one, and when it comes on it can make your heart sink. The check engine light is a sign of trouble that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars, but don't let your mind wander to that outcome so quickly. You likely will need some diagnostic work, but in the end you may not have much damage to your wallet or your car. Here are four common reasons that the check engine light might come on in your vehicle.
Faulty Ignition Coil
The ignition coil is what produces the original spark needed to get your internal combustion engine started. The ignition coil can go bad for reasons like operating under extremely high temperatures, but they are subject to normal wear out over time and need to be replaced.
Failing Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is helps reduce harmful emissions by converting your vehicle's hazardous exhaust gases into less harmful emissions. Unfortunately, replacing a catalytic converter is one of the priciest common reasons the light goes on. However, they generally don't fail unless something else in the vehicle has already gone awry, such as a much less expensive airflow sensor or faulty spark plugs. So it is important to get your car to a professional mechanic when the light comes on so that you can get the initial problem fixed for a couple hundred dollars before having to spend thousands on a problem that could have been easily avoided.
Broken Gas Cap
If you are lucky, the check engine light is being caused by a loose or cracked gas cap. Gas will evaporate and escape through the opening of an ill-fitting or broken fuel cap in turn causing the check engine light to glow. To avoid an expensive test for a fix that costs the turn of the wrist, be sure your gas cap is tight, every time you fill up.
Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor
The mass air flow sensor monitors air coming into the engine and calculates how much fuel to mix with it to ensure that the engine runs smoothly. If the car determines the sensor is malfunctioning the check engine light will turn on. This is usually an inexpensive fix that is important to take care of because if the MAF sensor goes bad, it can result in a drop of your fuel efficiency by 10 to 25 percent.
It is important to have your vehicle looked at as soon as the check engine light comes on. It is often an inexpensive fix, but if left alone could end up draining your pockets. For expert check engine light repairs in Mountain View or Palo Alto head to The Car Doctor. Our professional auto repair technicians use the latest technology to pinpoint issues and get them fixed fast. Call The Car Doctor at (650) 492-6853 or visit our shop for quality auto repair in Palo Alto!
The Car Doctor Blog
Written and Published By MORBiZ
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