What does it mean if your check engine light comes on
When the dreaded yellow light comes on on the dashboard, we bet you can’t help but groan. You groan because that little light is a sign that you’re going to spend more money on something that could add up to a lot. Unfortunately there is no quick and easy answer to the question what does it mean if your check engine light comes on, but we can help you narrow it down to a few common issues. If you’re still unsure, or not very well-versed in the auto-realm, we encourage you to bring your vehicle into our service department and we will do whatever we can to help you figure out the issue.
Some of the most common causes of a check engine light are below:
1. You need to replace your oxygen sensor
Your oxygen sensor is often the first culprit when it comes to that dreaded little light. Your oxygen sensor is the part of your vehicle that monitors the unused oxygen put out from the exhaust and also helps monitor how much fuel is burned. If your oxygen sensor is not working, the vehicle’s computer doesn’t get the correct information and can cause a decrease in fuel economy. Over time, the oxygen sensors can also get covered in oil or other soot, which reduces effectiveness. Depending on the vehicle, replacing the oxygen sensor is typically an easy fix and can even be done at home. Or, if you’re not confident enough, we would be happy to help at Great West Chrysler.
2. Loose or faulty gas cap
Surprisingly enough, a loose or faulty gas cap could be the culprit of your check engine light. When it’s loose or cracked, vapors from the fuel can leak out and throw your vehicle’s whole system off, which can actually lead to more problems like a reduction in fuel economy and increased emissions. You can try re-tightening your cap and look to see if there are any cracks. If you continue driving and your check engine light goes off, that’s likely the culprit. You can also just try replacing the cap either way.
3.Replace spark plugs and wires
The spark plug creates a small spark of electricity that is carried by the plug and provides a combustion that is needed to power your car. When spark plugs aren’t working properly, the sparks misfire and you will likely feel a little push in your vehicle’s acceleration. Don’t be fooled, this is not a good thing. If your check engine light is on and you’ve already checked the gas cap and the oxygen sensor, it’s a good bet that you’ve got a faulty spark plug. As always, if you don’t feel comfortable, we’d be more than happy to help you out in any way we can.