Is your check engine running light? Here are 10 possible reasons why

The orange, engine-shaped icon in the instrument cluster on your car’s dashboard is programmed to turn on when the car’s electronic brain detects something wrong. If you see this, don’t panic – it doesn’t mean you have to pay the nearest mechanic. Problems that trigger a check engine light are sometimes basic and quickly fixed. Don’t skip it and check it out as soon as possible.

Another maintenance guide

Here are 10 common problems that can trigger a check engine light. Keep in mind that the light that the fault code introduced in the first place is stored on your car’s onboard computer and you can recover it using a simple Bluetooth powered device linked to an application to get an accurate idea of ​​exactly what you have. Doing this on your own will save you money.

Oxygen sensor failure

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Oxygen sensors (sometimes known as O2 sensors) measure the amount of incomplete oxygen in a vehicle’s exhaust system. It sends data to the car’s computer, which uses it to control the mixture of air and fuel that enters the cylinder. An O2 sensor needs to be replaced but an engine will continue to run but it will burn more fuel than usual. In the long run, a bad and 2 sensor can damage components such as spark plugs and catalyst converters. It can fail any car exhaust test.

On average, any quality O2 sensor returns you around $ 175, but the labor cost will vary greatly depending on the vehicle made and model as well as your geographical location. Until the end, keep in mind that most late-model cars have multiple O2 sensors.

Loose fuel cap

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A loose fuel cap is one of the most common causes of check engine lighting. The cap is an important part of a vehicle’s fuel supply system. This significantly prevents gasoline fumes from leaving the fuel tank and it helps keep the whole system under proper pressure.

If your check turns on as soon as the engine lights up, pull and make sure the cap is not loose – or still on the roof of your car. Sometimes the cap needs to be replaced, but this is not a problem that will hit your wallet hard. Most auto parts stores carry universal-fit gas caps that cost around 15 15.

Catalyst converter failure

The catalytic converter is integrated with a vehicle exhaust system. It converts the carbon monoxide produced during the combustion process into carbon dioxide. This is a fairly simple part and its failure can often be prevented. That’s good news, because depending on a make and model, 200 to 600 600 for a new one. Each late-model car has a catalytic converter that runs on petrol.

Performing regular maintenance (such as oil changes) on time is the key to keeping your car’s catalytic converter operational. If you live in the city and drive most short distances, drive your car on the highway now to make sure the catalyst converter doesn’t get stuck. And as always, keep your eyes and ears open to let out your unfamiliar sounds or colorless smoke.

Spark plug / ignition coil problem

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Simply put, the spark plugs needed to ignite the fuel and air mixture in an ignition coil cylinder generate electricity. Classic cars have a single coil, but many modern vehicles use one coil per cylinder. If you have a V8 under the hood on your ride you may have eight separate coils. The Monster Bugatti Chiron has 16. No matter how much you have, a faulty coil will definitely trigger the light of the check engine, but remember, if your car burns diesel, you do not have an ignition coil or a spark plug.

Speaking of spark plugs, worn or foul plugs can cause a variety of problems including incorrect engine fire and hesitation at heavy acceleration. A worn coil can show the same symptoms and cause the car to stop unexpectedly. The price of a quality spark plug is between 10 and 20, while a coil is generally generally between 50. Changing your own spark plugs is easier said than done.

Bad spark plug wires

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As its name implies, a spark plug wire transfers electricity from the coil to the spark plug. Without it, the fuel and air mixture in the cylinder will not burn. The lion’s share of cars use single wires in cylinders, but some cylinders have two spark plugs and significantly more wires as a result – some older Mercedes-Benzs have models.

Symptoms of bad spark plug wiring include fairly lethargy, a noticeable drop in engine performance, and low gas mileage. Expect to spend around $ 50 for a set of plug wires.

Mass airflow sensor failure

The mass airflow (MAF) sensor monitors how much air enters the engine. It is a part of the engine-management system, so your car will not be able to adjust to changes in altitude without it. Symptoms of MAF failure include fairly lethargic, onset problems, and a sudden change in the position of the throttle pedal. Decreased gas mileage and stalling can also indicate a MAF problem.

A MAF for a late-model car usually costs $ 120 to 150 150.

Problems with aftermarket alarms

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A after-sales alarm can destroy your car if it is not installed properly. This can drain the battery, trigger the check engine light, and even prevent the car from starting. Then, when you least expect it, it will go away at midnight because a leaf of an oak tree has wrinkled.

If the above problems sound familiar, you must fix the alarm, reinstall it, or have it replaced completely by a competent mechanic. It may cost a bit more to get it done in the first place but the peace of mind that comes with a fully functional alarm is priceless.

Vacuum leak

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Each car has a vacuum system that performs a variety of functions. The brake booster is vacuum-driven, and the vacuum system helps reduce harmful emissions by routing fumes as gasoline evaporates through the engine. If the inertia of your vehicle starts to rise or stabilizes at abnormally high RPM, the vacuum leak can be the culprit.

Vacuum hoses can dry out and crack with age, especially if they are exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold. This is the most common cause of vacuum leaks. Other common problems include crack fitting and loose connections. Vacuum lines cost a few thousand rupees each, but identifying the source of the leak can be time consuming – and expensive if you don’t do the work yourself.

Exhaust gas recirculation valve failure

Dmitry Bachchub / 123 RF

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system reduces the amount of nitrogen oxides released from the car’s engine and helps it to run more efficiently. This indicates that the heated exhaust gases return to the combustion chambers, which heats the fuel and makes it easier to burn. It also reduces emissions.

The EGR valve may get stuck or fail completely. If you are tilting even slightly mechanically, you can remove the valve, clean it, and reinstall it in a relatively short time. If the valve needs to be replaced, expect to pay at least $ 125 for a brand new, OM-quality unit.

Dead battery

Batteries are as important as they are simple; Without it your car will not start, illuminate the road ahead or charge your phone. Today’s batteries are much more durable than before and they are maintenance free. The price of a new one depends on the type of car you drive, but plan to spend at least $ 100 on a quality battery.

Changing or charging the battery on your own is a relatively easy task, but keep in mind that in some late-model cars it is crushed under numerous plastic covers and can be a bit difficult to access. Also, note that disconnecting the battery often resets your stereo system. If you do not have the code, ask your local merchant for it before unbolting the positive and negative terminals. Otherwise, you will drive silently.

My check engine lights up. What now?

Modern cars are buzzing with high-tech bells and stairs, but you still inexperiencedly need a separate, aftermarket device to understand why the check engine lights are on. Most drivers only take their car to the dealership. This is the easiest way, but it is also the most expensive route. If you want to travel to a repair shop, spend a few dollars on a Bluetooth-compatible OBD II scanner (or a more advanced adapter) and download a suitable app like Torque from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Many stores charge between $ 50 and 100 100 to pull codes from the ECU, which isn’t bad, considering you can get the tool and app for less than 15.

Ready? Start by looking for the OBD II port of your car. It is usually located on the driver’s foot, not too far from the hood release, but sometimes it is hidden behind the center console or in a bogie built into the floor. Plug in the scanner, launch the app on your phone, and the error codes in the car’s ECU will appear on the screen. Sometimes the codes are clearly explained; At other times, you need to do some research to understand what it means like P01301. Repair manuals are effective for deciphering codes, but Google’s answer usually remains.

Remember that error codes do not always tell a complete story. Once upon a time, all the energy that was lost while working in a relative’s car, the codes stored in the ECU indicated a problem with the turbo, but not with the part itself – it was a crack vacuum hose. Even if you get a list of disposal codes, you may have to spend a few minutes (or at worst a few hours) around the bay of the engine to find the problem.

There are professional-grade code scanners that are more precise but more expensive. Alternatively, some auto parts stores will run a diagnostic test for free. However, getting a Bluetooth scanner and an app will save you time and money while making you more car-intelligent. Make sure it is compatible with your car before buying it, as some cheap units will not work with every make and model.

Will the check engine light tell me when should I fix my car?

Check engine light gives an idea – sometimes precise, sometimes vague – of what goes wrong with a car. It does not replace any skilled mechanic.

In other words, don’t wait until the check engine lights come on to repair your car. The ECU is not going to warn you that the water pump is about to fail, that any one ball is worn, or that the A / C is going to shut down the cool air flow in mid-August. If your car drives, makes a noise or smells funny, fix it or take it to anyone who can. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the maintenance requirements of your vehicle so that you know exactly when to change the oil, flush the coolant, and when to replace the brake pads.

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