Check Engine Light On? Here’s What It Could Mean

Posted by at 27 March 2018, at 13 : 29 PM

Check Engine Light On? Here’s What It Could Mean

All drivers know the frustration of getting in the car and seeing your check engine light glowing on the dashboard. This can happen when you start up your car, or it may turn on while you’re driving. Either way, it provides a shock as you automatically assume your engine is failing.

What does it mean when this light is on? Well, there are many common reasons, most of which aren’t too serious and can be sorted out quite quickly.

Your Gas Cap Is Loose Or Broken

Sometimes, that pesky check engine light of yours has turned on because of your gas cap. You probably never even thought that your gas cap was linked to your engine, but it plays a more important role than you think. When your cap is loose or damaged, then engine fumes can leak out. This massively disrupts engine performance and causes your car to become incredibly inefficient. Your engine realizes something is wrong, hence the light coming on. You’ll find this is the easiest problem to fix as you may just have to tighten your gas cap. Alternatively, you will pay a couple of dollars for a new one. It’s easy to tell if this is your issue as your car feels fine, the engine sounds healthy, but the check engine light is on. Pull over, and see if your gas cap is the issue.

Your Mass Airflow Sensor Has Failed

This is a key part of your car engine that determines how much air enters it. Every car needs one as it helps the engine adjust to different conditions while you drive. However, it can fail from time to time, which sets that check engine light on. Why did it fail? Most of the time you can point the finger at your engine air filter. This is responsible for filtering out debris and allowing air into your engine. Often, you can fix this with a simple air filter cleaner that rejuvenates your filter and allows the mass airflow sensor to function properly. Alternatively, replace the filter and have it installed properly, and this should also fix the issue.

Your Oxygen Sensor Is Faulty

The O2 sensor in your engine is very important when it comes to emissions and fuel efficiency. This is basically the sensor that monitors your gas emissions and helps regulate oxygen levels in your engine. A faulty one can lead to a strange increase in gas mileage, while also damaging other parts of your engine as well. What’s interesting is that this is probably the number one cause of check engine light warnings. These sensors can easily become covered in muck and grime, but they don’t stop your car from functioning, so you don’t notice an issue until it’s too late. Get a faulty sensor replaced and you’ll be fine.

The point of this article was to show you that your check engine light can point to many different problems. Not only that, but these problems can often be solved with simple fixes or inexpensive replacements. So, don’t assume that your check engine light automatically means your engine has failed and a costly repair is in order!

General Automotive Articles