Why Is My Check Engine Light On? These Are the Most Common Reasons

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Oh, that pesky check engine light. You already know that there are many issues from minor to engine failure that can make it come on, which is why it is so daunting to see it. Why did it come on? How serious is it? If I ignore it, will it go away?

As tempting as it is to ignore it, PKW Motorwerks recommends that you relax, breathe, and bring your vehicle in for a diagnostic check in order to protect your European vehicle. While it will take a diagnostic test and further inspection to determine the problem, these are some of the most common causes for an illuminated check engine light.

Oxygen Sensor

Your oxygen sensor is an important part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. It lets your system know if the fuel to air ratio is off, by measuring the unburned oxygen before the exhaust exits through the tailpipe. When your oxygen sensor is broken, it could lead to catalytic converter or spark plug damage. It is also an easy way to fail your next emissions test.

Gas Cap

This is something we see all the time. A loose or damaged gas cap can actually cause your check engine light to come one because it is used to create a vacuum seal. If your check engine light goes off after you tighten your gas cap, that was probably the issue and you don’t need to have a diagnostic test.

Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a crucial part of your vehicle. Without it, your smog output will greatly increase, but you may not even notice that it is failing without your check engine light. In some cases, drivers will also notice what smells like rotten eggs coming from their vehicle.

Mass Airflow Sensor

A broken mass airflow sensor is another common cause of an illuminated check engine light. A vehicle’s ignition system relies on a certain air to fuel ratio to function. The mass airflow sensor is in charge of measuring the air in that mixture. If the ratio is off you will notice a sputtering engine, frequent stalls, or an engine that won’t even start.

Spark Plugs and Spark Plug Wires

Spark plugs and spark plug wires, like many of your vehicle’s parts, wear out over time. And when they are worn out or broken, your ignition system will suffer. A good rule of thumb is to have them replaced every 30,000 miles depending on your vehicle and driving habits.

With all the possible things that could be causing your check engine light to come on, it is never a good idea to put off having your system inspected when you see it. Call PKW Motorwerks to schedule a diagnostic test we are the auto repair experts Plainfield drivers trust most with their European vehicles.