What Causes A Check Engine Light to Come On?

No matter what kind of car you drive and what kind of driver you are, the check engine light is probably every driver's worst nightmare. It gives no details about what's at fault, and the list of potential reasons for it goes on and on. Check engine lights can be as minor as a loose gas cap or severe enough to completely break the engine. Below we've listed the three most popular reasons behind a check engine light:

  1. Oxygen Sensor - The oxygen sensors in your vehicle helps decide how much fuel you burn. Consequently, a faulty oxygen sensor will negatively affect your fuel economy. Even though oxygen sensors are more straightforward and less expensive to replace, failing to restore them on time can eventually spread damage to your catalytic converter.
  2. Loose Gas Cap - It may sound silly that something as small as a gas cap can trigger your warning light, but the gas cap keeps gasoline from evaporating. It also plays a role in keeping your emissions down. To avoid triggering the check engine light, check to see if your gas cap is properly closed after every fill-up. Luckily, this problem is an easy fix. All you have to do to fix it is stop running your engine and retighten the gas cap before turning your car back on. It may take several starts for the light to disappear. If the light doesn't go off within the next couple of days, take your car to your mechanic.
  3. Catalytic Converter - A failing catalytic converter will also trigger your check engine light to come on. In addition, it will lower your gas mileage and make it hard for your engine to stimulate. If you notice any of these problems, please bring your car to us as soon as you can to fix it. Catalytic converter replacements are unfortunately not cheap.

When the check engine light comes, the first thing you should do is to bring your vehicle to an experienced, certified mechanic like our team at Prestige Autohaus. We have experienced technicians who can diagnose the problem and estimate how much it will cost you. If your check engine light, or any other of your warning lights, has come on and you don't know the reason behind it, give us a call or visit ASAP!