What It Means When The Check Engine Light Comes On

There’s a moment that everyone who owns a car dreads on having. It could happen when you start your car or while you’re driving. It involves a yellow light on your dashboard in the shape of an engine.

When the check engine light comes on it could mean many things. This could range from very drastic service needed on the vehicle or something simple. Here are a few things that could have happened to your car, to cause the check engine light to come on.

Gas Cap

One of the most common reasons the check engine light would come on is a loose gas cap. Often times after getting gas, people forget to tighten their gas cap when it’s put back on. If you get the check engine light, the first thing you should do is check your gas cap. It’s the easiest problem to fix and you won’t have to worry about taking the car in for maintenance unless the light is still on.

The Catalytic Converter

In your engine exhaust system is the catalytic converter. What this does is turn carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide while in the combustion sequence. Performing regularly scheduled maintenance of your vehicle will keep the converter in good shape. If not the price of a new one can range between $200 and $600.

Oxygen Sensor

Sometimes the O2 sensor, also known as the oxygen sensor can fail. This part measures the unburnt oxygen within the exhaust. It sends this data to the vehicle computer that regulates the air and fuel mixture that goes into the cylinders. Your car can still run fine if this is the reason your check engine light comes on, however, it’s likely you will be using up more fuel. That part can cost about $150-$170, but you could end up spending a bit more depending on the labor of the maintenance.

Spark Plug and Ignition Coil

The ignition coil generates the electricity for the spark plugs to ignite the engine. Modern cars tend to have one coil per cylinder in the car. One coil that isn’t working properly is enough to cause trouble, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere kind of trouble. This is a very vital part of the car, however, it’s relatively cheap to purchase these parts and install them yourself if you wanted to.

Also, it could be the spark plug wires that have an issue. If these don’t work properly it can definitely cause a malfunction in the engine.

Seeing the check engine light come on can feel earth-shattering and can ruin your mood. However, fixing the problem can alleviate that. Even if what has to be done is expensive, it at least can be fixed. Plus if you maintain the car and do routine maintenance. You can prevent these problems and more from happening.