A little orange, red, or yellow engine-shaped light on your dashboard is all it takes to throw your day off course. Is your car having electrical problems? Could fluids be low? Did you tighten the gas cap after your last fill-up?
Engine diagnostics check all possible scenarios that could cause that annoying check engine light. Possible issues that could trigger the check engine light may include the following:
Oxygen Sensor – If your vehicle’s oxygen sensor has gone bad, your car may experience a decrease in fuel economy, burning more fuel than it should. A bad sensor can also trigger problems with the spark plugs and catalytic converter. Diagnosing the problem and resolving it quickly can save you additional repairs and costs in the long run.
Catalytic Converter – Your car’s catalytic converter transforms carbon monoxide vapors into carbon dioxide to protect the environment. If your catalytic converter is damaged or malfunctioning, you may lose performance, burn more fuel than necessary, and your car may run on the hot side – all reasons to correct the problem as soon as possible.
Loose Gas Cap – A loose gas cap doesn’t seem like a serious issue, but it can cause problems if ignored. Your car’s gas cap not only prevents fuel from splashing out and dust from entering in, but it also creates an airtight seal that maintains your gas tank’s pressure. A loose or faulty gas cap may not cause major damage, but it can allow fuel to evaporate, resulting in more frequent fill-ups.
Spark Plugs – Healthy spark plugs and spark plug wires keep your engine firing smoothly. Let your spark plugs or wiring become fouled or damaged and your vehicle can lose fuel economy and performance. If your spark plugs or wires are in poor condition, they can cause problems with oxygen sensors, ignition coils, and the catalytic converter. It’s natural for these components to experience wear over time, and they’re a simple fix for a trained technician.
Mass Airflow Sensor – The mass airflow sensor has a direct effect on how much fuel your engine uses. A bad sensor can cause a reduction in power and fuel economy, as well as damage to your catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, and spark plugs. When the check engine light comes on, swing by the shop and have a mechanic run diagnostics to determine the exact problem and get it corrected.
While the check engine light can cause you a bit of anxiety, a quick test can tell your technician exactly what’s wrong. From complex problems to something as simple as a loose gas cap, diagnostics will point you in the right direction to fix any issues your vehicle may be experiencing.