Turn Out The Lights: 5 Common Reasons Your Check Engine Light May Be Lit


There is nothing on your vehicle that is more important or frustrating then the glow of the check engine light. For all you know, this could mean spending a pretty penny, and in some cases, the anxiety that washes over you could be larger than the expense to fix the issue. The most important thing you can do during this situation is to not ignore the indication and run a diagnostics on your vehicle. Diagnostic tests can be found at your local auto parts store, or if you prefer to have a professional take a look at it, take it to your dealership. The most common malfunctions are often simple to fix, so let’s take a look at 5 issues that you may find.

loose-gas-cap-largeA Faulty Gas Cap

A faulty gas caps could be one with cracks, or all it could possibly mean is that it wasn’t screwed on tight enough. However, either of these situations allow fuel vapors to leak out which reduces your gas mileage and increases emissions. If your check engine light appears while you are driving and your car doesn’t feel jerky or strange, pull over and take a look at your gas cap. Make sure it is crack-free, if it isn’t, then replace it- If it is, just screw it on tighter, but this time with a few extra turns to make sure it is as tight as can be. If the light doesn’t turn off after attempting to fix the situation, pull over at an auto-parts shop and ask them to run a diagnostics check on your vehicle.


O2 SensorA Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor helps monitor the unburned oxygen from the exhaust and a faulty sensors means that it is not communicating the right data to the computer. When this takes place, again, you will notice a drastic decrease in fuel-efficiency and it is also and increase in emissions. Oil and ash cover the oxygen sensor over time and reduces its ability to change the oxygen fuel mixture. In the event that you have a faulty oxygen sensor, it is important to replace it immediately. Failure to do so can result in a busted catalytic converter which is a pretty penny. Replacing the sensor is typically an easy and cheap fix if you are willing to do it yourself.


catalytic converterA Doomed Catalytic Converter

Speaking of a catalytic converter, this vital piece works to reduce exhaust gases by converting carbon monoxide and other toxic materials into harmless compounds. A failing catalytic converter will drastically decrease efficiency and you will notice a halt in acceleration. If you keep your car maintained on a regular basis, your converter shouldn’t fail. However, the main cause of a fated catalytic converter would be from other items on the list, like a broken oxygen sensor, deteriorated spark plugs, etc. When your catalytic converter fails, be prepared to take it to the shop to have it professionally replaced

spark plugsWorn-Out Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are electrical devices that ignite the mixture of air and fuel through an electric spark, so when the plugs are failing, the spark plugs misfire. A rapid decrease in fuel efficiency, a rough engine idle, misfires, and poor acceleration are all signals of damaged spark plugs. So the best thing for you to do, is get them replaced immediately. Changing out your spark plugs can be an easy task if you prefer to do it yourself. They are considered one of the most abandoned and concealed aspects of a vehicle, as they play a vital role in keeping your vehicle running. So do your part and don’t hesitate when it comes to changing your spark plugs.

spark plug wireBad Spark Plug Wires

If your check engine light is on and you notice your car idling a lot louder and rougher than before, it might be your spark plug wires. When they start to erode, it becomes harder for the engine to remain running due to the lack of electricity flowing through them.

With all of the factors that could cause the yellow glow, these 5 are among the most common. This indicator has been put in place to notify the you that there is a threat in the automobiles operating system. Neglecting a minor issue could lead to bigger problems and costly repairs down the road. If you are having a hard time figuring out what the issue might be or you just fear your vehicle is too far gone, don’t hesitate to come see us at Ron Carter Cadillac to get behind the wheel of a brand new Cadillac!


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