Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

check engineThe mysterious “check engine” light can mean a whole host of different things. Unfortunately, because there isn’t always one, clear problem when the “check engine” light appears, many car owners choose to ignore it until the problem reveals itself in other ways. The check engine light can indicate everything from minor problems to severe ones, and should be addressed as soon as possible when illuminated.

If your check engine light is on, there is a good chance (but not guaranteed) that the problem is one of the following:

Your oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. Your oxygen sensor measures how much unburned oxygen is in vehicles exhaust system, and without replacing it, your car may burn more fuel than needed and cause damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter.

Your gas cap is loose, damaged, or missing. Your gas cap helps maintain pressure within the fuel tank by sealing the fuel system. Without it, you’ll lose fuel through evaporation.

Your catalytic converter needs replaced. The catalytic converter can be damaged when you neglect replacing your oxygen sensor, your Mass Airflow Sensor, or spark plugs and wires. The catalytic converter turns carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Without replacing it, your car won’t pass an emissions test and will run at a higher temperature and less efficiently.

Your Mass Airflow Sensor needs to be replaced. The MAF measures the amount of air entering the engine and determines how much fuel is needed to run the engine. Besides reducing efficiency and performance, MAF sensors that need to be replaced can cause damage to the spark plugs, O2 sensors, and the catalytic converter.

Your spark plugs or wires need replacing. Just like the MAF, spark plugs and wires that need to be replaced cause the vehicle to run at a lower efficiency and can cause damage to the O2 sensor, catalytic converter, or ignition coils.

If your check engine light is on, don’t wait to make an appointment at Gossett Kia Mt Moriah!

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