What is the Check Engine Light Telling Me?


What is the Check Engine Light Telling Me?Many people fear the check engine light, but really you should praise it. This light is connected to many sensors throughout your vehicle that are constantly monitoring performance, fuel economy, exhaust, engine idle speed and many other aspects of your car's different systems. The light will be triggered at the first sign of trouble picked up by these sensors. This gives you time to head to the repair shop for a proper diagnosis and repair before the problem escalates, which may result in a break down and a need for a tow truck. Many problems that cause the check engine light to illuminate are fairly simple issues that can be resolved quickly and rather inexpensively. However the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get, as this first example demonstrates.

Failed Catalytic Converter

If it is found the catalytic converter has failed during diagnosis of the check engine light you're likely in for a costly repair that more than likely could have been prevented. The catalytic converter is one of the most expensive parts of a vehicle due to the valuable metal in it that is necessary to convert hazardous exhaust fumes into less harmful emissions. However this part generally won't fail unless there is another problem at hand with a different, less expensive part, which more than likely would have triggered the check engine light first. For this reason it is important to head to the auto shop as soon as the light comes on!

Faulty MAF Sensor

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor monitors incoming air and calculates the proper ratio of fuel and air in order to create a strong running engine. If the sensor malfunctions the check engine light will turn on but this is often a relatively inexpensive repair. However it is an important issue to take care of as a failing MAF sensor can cut your fuel efficiency by up to 25%!

Faulty Ignition Coil

The ignition coil is suppose to produce the initial spark necessary to get your vehicle engine started. If it is having trouble receiving or sending the electricity needed to do its job the light will come on.

Loose Gas Cap

If your check engine light comes on shortly after filling up your gas tank there is a good chance that you forgot to tighten the gas cap. A broken, loose or cracked cap will allow gasoline to evaporate out of the filler tube, triggering the light thanks to the EVAP system. To avoid a trip to the repair shop for a fix that just requires the turn of a wrist be sure your cap is tight every time you leave the pump!

Don't let the check engine light scare you, just be sure to take care of it as soon as it comes on. If you need check engine light repair in Gretna, LA, head to West Transmissions Total Auto Care. We provide a free check engine light scan for most makes and models at our full service auto repair shop. To learn more, or to schedule quality auto repair in Gretna, give us a call at (504) 362-6947 today.

West Transmission Total Care Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ

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