Why is my check engine light on?


It can be a bit alarming when you look down and realize that there is a light popping up on your dash that wasn’t there before. This can feel especially worrisome when that light is a “check engine” icon. This icon is typically the most frustrating to drivers because of its largely ambiguous nature.

Surely many questions and worst scenarios may be running through your head, but before you panic, as the “check engine” light can mean a lot of different things, it could just be that you need to take your car in for a quick engine service in McKinney. Although you shouldn’t immediately panic, you should also not ignore this light and put off taking your car in, as it could potentially lead to permanent and expensive damage to your vehicle if left unattended.

Keep reading to learn about 5 common reasons why your engine light may have come on:

  1. You need to replace the oxygen sensor

The oxygen sensor is the part of your car that monitors how much fuel is burned based on the unburned oxygen from the exhaust. Dirt and corrosion happen over time and can affect the various parts of your car and this can cause sensors to lose the ability to do their jobs such as to change the oxygen and fuel mixture. The oxygen sensor is generally easy to fix and should be taken care of immediately or it could lead to expensive damage to your catalytic converter.

  1. You have a loose or faulty gas cap

Many people don’t realize the importance of their gas cap. However, a loose or cracked gas gap leads to leaking fuel vapors which can affect the entire fueling system. If your “check engine” light comes on but you don’t feel it in the ride of your vehicle you may want to check the gas cap to see if it is loose or faulty. This is one of the simplest problems to fix. Although it isn’t severely hazardous to leave unaddressed, it will help your car get better gas mileage when working properly. 

  1. You need to replace your catalytic converter

The catalytic converter in your car helps in the reduction of gases from the exhaust. It works as a filter to convert carbon monoxide along with other dangerous fumes into less harmful compounds. If this part of your car is faulty, your gas mileage will worsen and you will notice a decline in acceleration. Getting this fixed as soon as possible is quite important as if it fails completely your car won’t run at all.

  1. You have corroded or faulty spark plugs and wires

Corrosion is inevitable over time, and spark plugs and other wires are quite prone to it. The spark plugs in your car help to seal the combustion chamber and create a pathway for the spark to move in order to signal combustion in the engine. Generally, your spark plugs should be replaced every 25,000 to 30,000 miles. It is a pretty easy and inexpensive problem to get fixed so if you notice a jolt in your car, you should have your spark plugs checked and replaced right away.

  1. You need to replace the mass airflow sensor

The mass airflow sensor serves to communicate to the car’s computer the amount of fuel that needs to be added via the air that is coming through to the engine. If this sensor is faulty, it can decrease your gas mileage and increase fuel emissions, as well as cause the car to stall. You should have it replaced quite soon as it will have a strong effect on the smooth functioning of your vehicle.

When it comes to car maintenance in McKinney, finding a shop that you can trust and rely on to take care of your vehicle is of utmost importance. Here at Nortex Lube & Tune, we have got you covered. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.


Car Tips