Be honest… how long have you been driving around with your check engine light on? A surprising number of drivers seem to think that little orange or red light is just a fun way to add some color to their dashboard.
Unfortunately, the longer you go without getting your engine looked at by a professional, the more serious damage your car can incur.
Here are 5 reasons you definitely shouldn’t ignore your car’s check engine light.
1. A Problem With Your Oxygen Sensors
If your check engine light is on, it could be because your oxygen sensors are not working properly. These important sensors measure the oxygen coming from the combustion chambers into your car’s exhaust.
If there is unburned oxygen, it means unburned fuel.
If you don’t get your car in quickly, the catalytic converter can become damaged resulting in very poor gas mileage for you. Fortunately, this is a simple fix and an inexpensive one if caught quickly.
2. Spark Plug and Wiring Harness Damage
If your wiring harness and spark plugs aren’t working right, the engine won’t burn fuel efficiently. This can lead to your check engine light turning on.
Similar to the oxygen sensors, problems with these parts can lead to poor gas mileage. It can also cause misfires and issues with your catalytic converter.
Fixing this quickly will make your car more fuel-efficient and less expensive to drive.
3. The Catalytic Converter
Known to mechanics as “the cat,” the catalytic converter can be pricey to replace or repair. Leaving your check engine light unattended can cost you big-time if the issue is due to problems with the catalytic converter.
Because the catalytic converter is vital to the proper function of so many other parts of your car’s engine, leaving it unchecked can lead to serious damage to other parts as well.
Save yourself some serious cash and make sure this isn’t the cause of your engine’s trouble before it leads to further repairs.
4. A Loose Gas Cap
Sometimes the air-tight seal on your car’s fuel system becomes loose.
This is a problem because fuel will escape and evaporate, affecting your fuel line pressure and reducing the efficiency of your car. Suddenly your gas consumption will go up.
The best part about this issue is that it’s free to fix. Just visit an auto repair shop and let the professionals screw that seal back on.
5. Mass Air Flow Sensor Problems
The mass airflow sensor measures air coming in through the intake system. It sets the ideal fuel-air mix for your car’s engine.
If it has problems, you’ll get poor fuel-air ratios that can damage oxygen sensors, ignition parts, or your catalytic converter. If fixed early, it’s inexpensive.
Check Engine Light On? What Next…
Now that you’re aware of the implications of your check engine light and the potential damage it can mean for your car, what do you do about it?
Don’t hesitate. Schedule an appointment today with our team of dependable mechanics.
We’re here to assess your car engine and help you find the most cost-effective solution so you can hit the road again in safety.