Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Is On

When the check engine light comes on it’s easy to assume the worst. You know something may be wrong under the hood and this can leave you paranoid and anxious. There can be several reasons the check engine light is on. And while it’s tempting to neglect it, it can cause costly repairs in the long run. Identifying the issue is crucial to the health of your vehicle. Below are three common reasons why the check engine light may have come on.

Spark Plugs
The spark plugs supply the spark that ignites a mini-explosion in the combustion chamber. The spark plugs should be replaced once a year or at least every 10,000 miles. Spark plugs that are worn or damaged will not be able to properly ignite the air/fuel mixture in the cylinders. Neglecting your spark plugs can only snowball into larger problems. Faulty spark plugs can cause a major decrease in performance, poor fuel economy, and even an engine misfire. If the check engine light comes on, try checking the spark plugs.

Gas Cap
If the check engine light comes on right after you leave the gas station, the gas cap may be loose. When it’s safe to do so, try inspecting your gas cap and fastening. In some cases, the gas cap may be broken and need replacing. The gas cap may seem unimportant, but it keeps fuel vapors from seeping out so it’s important that the cap is functional. If the gas cap is damaged, replacing them is affordable at local automotive stores.

Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is a major part of the exhaust system. It converts carbon monoxide into a less harmful gas such as carbon dioxide. Treat your catalytic converter well by driving on the highway every now and then to allow it to properly emit its gases. If the catalytic converter is the source of the check engine light, you may notice discolored smoke coming from the exhaust and unusual sounds coming from the engine. If you suspect it’s the catalytic converter, get your vehicle inspected by one of our professionals as soon as possible.

Check engine light scan in Hanover Park, IL

If you suspect any of the above, bring your vehicle into Kamphaus Auto Care. We would be happy to inspect your vehicle. Our shop is a Napa AutoCare Center that specializes in Volkswagen, Lexus, BMW, Audi, Infiniti, and more.

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