Five Reasons Your Car’s Check Engine Light Is On

October 18, 2019 8:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are you noticing a strange sound or smell, or do have a lit-up dashboard warning light? It’s best to have your car problem evaluated by a qualified mechanic in Port Charlotte, FL right away. Below are five of the most common reasons why your vehicle’s check engine light might be on:

  • Problems with the gas cap: Your car’s gas cap is a small but important component. It’s the thing that seals the fuel system to keep the gas protected against contamination by outside debris and air. If the cap is loose, damaged or not in place, it’ll create less pressure inside the fuel tank, and gasoline fumes will be released into the atmosphere. Acceleration issues and/or poor gas mileage are possible when the sensor monitoring the fuel situation detects a problem.
  • Bad catalytic converter: Your car’s catalytic converter is in place to filter exhaust before it leaves through the tailpipe. The cat converts harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, which reduces the amount of pollution that gets spewed into the environment. Because the catalytic converter is a hard-working car part and acts like a filter, it can wear out or become clogged with debris. A clogged catalytic converter can cause poor gas mileage, engine misfire, engine overheating and even internal engine damage. If the catalytic converter is bad and you don’t replace it, your car won’t pass an emissions test.
  • Damaged oxygen sensor: This sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. Oxygen sensors are exposed to hot exhaust, meaning they can be corroded with carbon deposits from fuel and exhaust vapor before falling victim to corrosive damage. Signs of a failing oxygen sensor include engine misfires, rough engine idle, poor gas mileage and a rotten egg smell. Fix faulty sensors as soon as possible to avoid costly damage to spark plugs and the catalytic converter.
  • Dirty filters: Another reason your check engine light might be on is due to a dirty air filter or fuel filter. These filters keep the fuel and air entering the engine clean so the motor can burn gasoline properly. Dirty filters will trigger the sensor to alert your vehicle to illuminate the check engine light, but you’ll probably notice the signs of a clogged filter first: low fuel economy, hard starts, engine stalling, misfiring and more. Taking your vehicle in for routine service and maintenance is the easiest way to avoid problematic filters.
  • Issues with mass airflow sensor: This part measures the amount of air entering the engine to determine how much fuel is needed. If this sensor is faulty or damaged, vehicle performance and fuel economy may decrease. It can also cause the engine to stall shortly after starting or hesitate during acceleration. If not resolved quickly, bad mass airflow sensors can also damage spark plugs, oxygen sensors and catalytic converters.

If you have a dashboard warning light on and don’t know what’s the matter, let a professional take a look. Bring your car to Ice Cold Auto Repair today for reliable auto repair services in Port Charlotte, FL!

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