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5 Reasons Why Your “check engine” Light is On

5 Reasons Why Your “check engine” Light is On

Just because your “check engine” light is on, it does not mean you have an immediate or costly issue with your vehicle.  Unfortunately, there are a number of issues that are signaled by the “check engine” light.  The good part about this is that they are not costly.  Below are 5 common malfunctions associated with the “check engine” light.

⦁    Your oxygen sensor needs to be replaced.

The oxygen sensor monitors the unburned oxygen from the exhaust, which in turn helps monitor the amount of fuel that is being burned.  A faulty oxygen sensor sends incorrect data to your vehicle’s computer which can decrease gas mileage.

⦁    You have a loose or faulty gas cap.

A loose or cracked gas cap will allow fuel vapors to leak out and can inevitably throw off you entire fuel system.  This unfortunately decreases your gas mileage and increases your emissions.

⦁    You may need to replace your catalytic convertor.

The catalytic convertor helps reduce you exhaust gases.  It converts carbon monoxide into harmless compounds.  A catalytic convertor failure can be caused by a broken oxygen sensor or deteriorated spark plugs.  When the catalytic convertor fails, it fails to convert your carbon monoxide emissions into harmless compounds.  It leads to a decrease in gas mileage and can lead to a failure in acceleration.

⦁    You need to replace your mass air flow sensor.

The mass air flow sensor tells the vehicle’s computer to add the correct amount of fuel based on the amount of air flow through the engine.  A faulty mass air flow sensor can be caused by an improperly installed air filter.  This can lead to an increase in harmful emissions, it can cause your car to stall and it can decrease your gas mileage.

⦁    You need to replace your spark plugs and wires.

Your spark plugs seal the combustion chamber and allows for a spark to jump across a gap to initiate combustion in your engine.  A faulty spark plug or wire is caused by simple wear and tear.  Spark plugs should be replaced every 25, 000 to 30, 000 miles.  A faulty spark plug or wire can lead to a jolt in your vehicle’s acceleration.

Klosowski, Thorin (January 24, 2012).  The Five Most Common Causes of a Check Engine Light and What You Should Do About Them.  Life Hacker.  Retrieved from

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