Most of us have experienced that feeling of panic when we see the check engine light come on, and yet many ignore that glaring light as if it will go away on its own. Perhaps it is because we are afraid that it means some serious engine repairs will be needed. Whatever the reason, if your vehicle’s check engine light comes on, you should have it checked right away. More often than not, it is something simple, but if it is an indicator of something more serious, ignoring it can lead to even more expensive engine repairs.
The most common cause for the check engine light to come on is the O2 sensor. The O2 sensor is part of the emission control system. When it is not operating correctly, your vehicle will experience loss of performance and use more fuel to run, costing you more money at the pump. Replacing the O2 sensor is relatively inexpensive, but not taking care of it promptly can lead to expensive repairs later, as it can eventually lead to a damaged catalytic converter. If your vehicle has over 60,000 miles on it, there is a good chance this is the culprit.
The second most common cause occurs when you did not tighten the gas cap after a refuel. It can also be caused by a cracked gas cap. In this case, the vehicle is losing fuel vapors, which throws the system off, thus triggering the light. If you tighten the cap and the light doesn’t go off, it may need to be reset. The cap might also be damaged and need to be replaced.
After these two most common causes, others that could be the problem are the catalytic converter, mass airflow sensor, or spark plugs and wires. These are all moderate to costly engine repairs, but don’t let that fear keep you from bringing your vehicle in to see one of our qualified staff members at Highway Tire Service & Collision. Our family owned automotive service center located in Terrell, NC has served Mooresville and the surrounding communities since 2001. We can quickly determine the cause for your check engine light and let you know if any engine repairs are needed.