Don’t make the same mistake many other drivers make and ignore your check engine light. If your vehicle’s onboard computer system issues the warning, there is a good reason why. Thankfully, Advantage Auto Service has the state-of-the-art equipment needed to isolate the cause of the check engine alert, and here are four reasons why you heard the ding and saw the light while driving.
An Oxygen Sensor Issue
Your vehicle’s oxygen sensor is part of the exhaust system and it monitors unburned oxygen in your exhaust. It is mounted to your exhaust manifold and one sure sign of a failing sensor is the CEL warning. Should our vehicle fail a smog test, this, too, could be attributed to a bad oxygen sensor. The sensor checks how much oxygen is in your fuel mixture. If your vehicle is burning “rich,” it doesn’t have enough oxygen in it. If it’s burning “lean,” the fuel mixture has too much oxygen in it.
Catalytic Converter Failure
Another component of the exhaust system is your catalytic converter and, yes, if it’s failing you will smell rotten eggs. Oftentimes, however, the check engine light will signal a problem long before the rotten-egg smell, and this is why auto technicians recommend bringing a vehicle into the shop the minute the CEL check engine light comes on. The sooner a catalytic converter problem is isolated the less expensive the repair. Replacing a catalytic converter will set you back $500 to $600 or more.
Spark Plugs or Plug Wires
Your automobile’s check engine light might also come on if your spark plug wires are misfiring or your spark plugs are worn. You can go much longer between spark plug changes than you use to be able to, but this doesn’t mean the combustion system doesn’t need regular maintenance. The wires create the spark that fires up the plugs and without this combustion, your vehicle won’t start. If you’ve noticed your engine misfiring lately and your check engine light comes on, it could be your plugs or wires.
Loose Gas Cap
Finally, the cause of the check engine light warning could be something as simple as a loose gas cap. Hopefully, you didn’t screw the cap on tightly the last time you fuelled up, but your cap can also lose its seal over time. Check your gas cap to see if that’s the cause of the CEL. If it isn’t, it’s best to have the issue diagnosed properly. As mentioned above, the sooner the problem is found the less expensive the repair, so don’t cause further damage by ignoring your CEL.
Advantage Auto Service offers auto service and repairs in the Marietta, Atlanta, Acworth, Austell, Dallas, Douglasville, Hiram, Kennesaw, Mableton, Powder Springs, Smyrna and Vinings, GA, areas. Call us today at 770-951-8055 if your check engine light has come on.