Why Your Check Engine Light Could Be On

The check engine light is crucial to your car’s diagnostic system. When it lights up, it signals that something might be wrong. Ignoring it can lead to more significant problems. On the other hand, it could be something minor, such as a tire sensor that a tire shop can easily replace. Here, we will cover some common reasons your check engine light might be on, so you know what to watch out for.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in your car’s exhaust. It sends this information to the engine’s computer. If it’s faulty, the vehicle can’t balance the air-fuel mixture properly. This can reduce fuel efficiency and increase emissions. Most cars will still run with a bad oxygen sensor, but it does need to be replaced.

Loose Gas Cap

Modern cars have sensors that monitor the gas cap. A loose or damaged gas cap can trigger the check engine light. The gas cap seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure. If it’s not tight, fuel vapors can leak out. This is so common it’s usually one of the first things a tire shop will check for when a check engine light is on.

Spark Plugs or Wires

Spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine, but worn or bad spark plugs can cause misfires. This leads to poor engine performance and higher emissions. Spark plug wires also wear out and may make the check engine light come on. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a tune-up or new cables installed, this could be the culprit.

Vacuum Leaks

Your car’s engine has a vacuum system that performs various functions. Air circulates throughout the vehicle and engine via large hoses. According to Carsurance, people keep their cars for about 8.4 years. Vacuum hoses can crack or become loose over time. If this is the problem, you’ll notice higher RPMs than usual and rough idling.

Sensor and Wiring Issues

Modern cars have many sensors and wiring systems. Any issues with these can cause the check engine light to come on. Wiring problems can also cause intermittent issues, making them hard to diagnose. Regular inspections can help catch these issues early. Professional technicians can also inspect your wiring system to help locate the problem.

We offer the services you’ll find at a local tire shop and much more. Our technicians at Auto Diagnostic & Repair Center can help diagnose why your check engine light is on, complete tune-ups, make repairs, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.