Some drivers dismiss their check engine light as just another sign on the dashboard, while others feel anxious at the sight of it. Whether you belong to either extreme or fall somewhere in the middle, it’s important to learn why this light comes on. Dean’s Automotive Service Center in Anchorage, AK, is a trusted auto shop dedicated to helping drivers stay as safe and aware as possible, and they offer the following information on this visual reminder.
5 Reasons Your Check Engine Light May Come On
1. Loose Gas Cap
Your check engine light may come on for one simple reason: a loose or missing gas cap. This interferes with gas tank pressure, something your car’s internal computer immediately senses. Once the information registers, the check engine light will illuminate.
2. Worn-Out Spark Plugs
Spark plugs ignite the fuel mixture in internal combustion engines and should be replaced every 30,000 miles to avoid warning lights, engine misfires, decreased fuel economy, and poor engine performance. An overly rich fuel mixture can also cause premature spark plug failure.
3. Failing Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is one of your vehicle’s most eco-friendly parts, as it converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Your check engine light comes on when this essential component begins to fail. In this case, you may also notice performance problems and decreased fuel economy.
4. Vacuum Hose Issue
A vacuum hose problem may also cause this warning light to illuminate. Another environmentally friendly vehicle component, the vacuum hose prevents gasoline vapors from harming the atmosphere and allows the fuel injection system to function properly. Hose leaks result in pressure and power issues, rough idling, and mileage and acceleration problems.
5. Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Oxygen sensors calculate the unburned oxygen-to-fuel ratio in a car or truck’s exhaust system. If yours requires replacing, the check engine light comes on so your vehicle doesn’t burn excessive amounts of fuel. Sensor problems can also damage fuel injectors and catalytic converters.
If your check engine light has come on, work with the talented auto mechanics at Dean’s Automotive Service Center for all of your car’s needs. This premier auto shop offers a full suite of services to keep your vehicle operational and safe, and their mechanics are always ready to explain what is happening with your car or truck. Call (907) 276-5731 to schedule an appointment or visit the auto shop online for additional information.