What Does Your Check Engine Light Mean?
As vehicles age, or at the very least, acquire more drive time, many of us are faced at one point or another with the dreaded Check Engine Light.
While the check engine light is historically known to people as an indicator of something horrible, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, it’s something simple like your gas cap isn’t closing properly anymore. Other times, it’s something more severe like your engine is misfiring.
With only one indicator on our dashboard to alert us of so many possible problems with our vehicle, how can you tell what your check engine light actually means? We’ll dive into that in this blog post and go over what the most catastrophic issues are that follow the check engine light coming on.
Reasons Your Check Engine Light is On
There are a whole host of issues that could potentially be going on with your vehicle when your check engine light comes on. That’s why it’s so important to have your vehicle checked out by a professional mechanic like a great mechanic at North Road Auto Repair. They can perform proper diagnostics to pinpoint the exact issue that’s happening with your car.
Possible Reasons Your Check Engine Light is On Include:
- Fuel cap loose or damaged
- MAF (mass airflow sensor) not functioning correctly
- Spark plug or ignition coil need replacing
- Electrical issues
- Various hose leaks
- Catalytic converter issues (failing)
- Faulty O2 sensor
- Throttle position sensor malfunctions
- EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve issues
- Loose or damaged manifold gasket
- Another problem indicated by additional warning lights
These are just a few of the reasons your check engine light might be on. Although many of them may seem like they aren’t that serious, the majority of them are time sensitive. If left too long, the results can be catastrophic, and you could end up with a very expensive repair bill.
The good news is that if you end up with a repair bill that’s worth more than the vehicle itself, you can scrap your car with More Cash For Scrap. We always pay MORE cash for scrap cars than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Causes for Your Check Engine Light and What You Can Do About It
As mentioned before, there are many reasons why your check engine light might come on. Here we will elaborate on each possible cause, and what steps you need to take to rectify the issue.
1. Fuel Cap Loose or Damaged
This one is a pretty simple issue, with a simple solution. When your vehicle’s gas cap isn’t secured properly, it affects the way your vehicle uses fuel. This, in turn, can affect your vehicle’s performance in a variety of ways.
The solution to this issue typically is to ensure that you’ve tightened the gas cap fully after fueling up. Failing that, you may need a gas cap replacement. Your local mechanic can replace this usually on the same day.
2. Sensor Malfunctions
There are several different types of sensors in your vehicle to help it perform at its best. Some are responsible for air intake, some for optimal fuel delivery, and some are for throttle control. When a sensor malfunctions, it’s easy to notice.
Possible sensors that can malfunction include your o2 sensor, TPS, and MAF. When they malfunction, your vehicle sends out a code that can be read by your mechanic which points directly to the problem.
That’s why if you’re having any kind of performance issues with your vehicle while your check engine light is on, you should take it to your mechanic to find out what needs to be replaced. Only a proper diagnostic or code reader can determine which sensor needs replacing.
3. Spark Plug or Ignition Coil Issues
Spark plugs are one of those things that don’t need replacing often, but definitely should be when it’s needed. Typically, spark plug replacement is done every 150,000 kms, and if you routinely maintain your car at the mechanic’s, they will tell you when it’s time.
However, for those of us who don’t get our vehicles in for maintenance as often as we’d like, there is the CEL to indicate when this is required.
The same is said for the ignition coil. When it’s time to have either serviced or replaced, your check engine light will come on and your mechanic can tell you which, if either, needs replacing. If you fail to address either of these two issues, it can result in your engine misfiring, causing some serious damage, and a much heftier repair bill.
The good news is that if you’re already experiencing major engine problems, More Cash For Scrap is happy to buy vehicles with all sorts of engine and mechanical issues for MORE cash than our competitors.
4. Electrical Issues
A car’s electrical system is an incredibly intricate and delicate one. While generally vehicles are made to take a beating, electrical components and wiring can be finnicky. And unless you’re an electrician by trade and have extensive knowledge about cars, you should take your car to a mechanic whenever electrical problems present themselves.
Even once an electrical problem has been established by the CEL or your mechanic, repairing it can be trickier than you might think. That’s why electrical repairs are always so expensive, because the labour and detective work involved quickly increases the bill.
If you’ve got a vehicle that needs lengthy electrical work that you don’t want to put the time or money into, sell it to us instead. We pay MORE cash for scrap cars with electrical issues than any other scrap car removal business in BC.
5. Catalytic Converter Issues
Aside from your CEL coming on, usually when your catalytic converter needs attention, it’s obvious. Your vehicle will run poorly and produce worsening gas mileage. You would usually hear a rattling noise coming from under your vehicle as well, along with black smoke billowing out from it.