Identification Station

Common Check Engine Light Causes

Check Engine. Who knows what that even means? Short answer: the ASE certified technicians at Carmedix in Durham, North Carolina. When your vehicle’s check engine lamp has illuminated, it may be tempting to ignore it, but you shouldn’t. You may be driving your way toward bigger problems and more expensive repairs. Besides, your vehicle won’t pass North Carolina’s required annual state inspection with the light on, so let us diagnose and repair the problem for you.

Frequent Causes

There are many problems that can trigger the check engine warning, but our mechanics have noticed a pattern of some common causes.

One frequent culprit is the oxygen sensor which measures exhaust for the amount of unburned oxygen it contains. You car burns more fuel and doesn’t run efficiently if this part malfunctions. Worse, failure to replace it in a timely manner may cause damage to spark plugs and the catalytic converter.

Another simple, yet real problem may be a poorly fitting gas cap. If the cap is lose or damaged, it can trigger the dashboard alert. It also allows your fuel to evaporate or leak.

Another potential culprit is the catalytic converter. This component converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. In addition to causing the check engine alert, it can precipitate poor engine performance, decreased gas mileage, and perhaps even a hotter engine temperature if it isn’t working properly.

The mass airflow sensor, which measures the amount of air going into the engine so that the proper amount of fuel is added for optimal combustion and performance, can also go bad. If this happens, the warning is initiated, and your vehicle doesn’t perform as well or get optimal gas mileage. It can ultimately lead to oxygen sensor, spark plug, or catalytic converter damage if left unattended.

Aging spark plugs and damaged or worn spark plug wires can be an issue because they are necessary for igniting the fuel-air mixture inside the engine’s cylinders. Their poor condition can hurt performance and economy in the short term, and maybe even damage oxygen sensors, ignition coils, and the catalytic converter if left unchecked over time.

Identification and Repair

If your check engine light has come on, let Carmedix be your “identification station.” Our trained technicians will connect your car to an OBD-II reader to obtain a universal trouble code. They will then use their expertise to pinpoint the exact issue and repair it so that the light goes off, your car will not fail inspection for an engine issue, and you can drive without worry.

Written by Carmedix

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