What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

4 Reasons the Check Engine Light Is On

We’ve all been there before—we’re driving along, and all of a sudden, the check engine light illuminates on the dashboard. While its vibrant glow may cause concern right off the bat, it could be as minor as a loose gas cap. However, it could also be as serious as a malfunction with the spark plugs or catalytic converter. We recommend that drivers who run into this issue visit Simpsonville Automotive for expert check engine light service. We have the tools and know-how to pinpoint the issue and resolve it efficiently.

Common Check Engine Light Causes

  1. Catalytic Converter Failure
    A common cause for the check engine light to come on is a failed catalytic converter. As part of the exhaust system, this component is responsible for converting the more harmful compounds—nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons—into less harmful gasses and water vapors to prevent dangerous exposure environment. Signs of a failing catalytic converter are decreased power output, unusual sounds, or discolored smoke from the exhaust.
  1. Spark Plug Issue
    Spark plugs ignite the air and fuel in the combustion chamber, which then creates an explosion that helps your engine actually produce power. Bad spark plugs cause your engine to misfire or halt, or perform incomplete combustion and damage the catalytic converter. A drop in engine performance and fuel economy are indicators of failing spark plugs.
  1. Mass Airflow Sensor Failure
    The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air that enters the engine. The sensor itself can become contaminated or damaged, resulting in the need for repair—and by extension, the check engine light to turn on. If the air filter is improperly installed, or if a washable air filter is over-soaked, the airflow sensor can fail sooner. Common symptoms that point to a problem with the airflow sensor include trouble starting the vehicle, a stalling engine after starting, or hesitation/jerking during acceleration.
  2. Loose Gas Cap
    Of course, a loose gas cap can be all it takes to trigger the check engine light. However, did you know the gas cap does more than just act as a barrier between the fuel tank and outside elements? It also prevents fumes from escaping the fuel tank and helps stabilize the fuel system’s pressure. Thankfully, a loose gas cap is easy to fix. When it’s safe, pull over and check that it is securely intact. In some cases, a new gas cap may be needed, which we can help you with here in-store.

Contact Simpsonville Automotive for Expert Service and Repair

If your check engine light is on and you are unsure what to do next, bring your vehicle to the certified automotive professionals here at Simpsonville Automotive in Simpsonville, Kentucky. We feature state-of-the-art equipment and advanced diagnostic tools in our repair shop to determine the root cause of all issues. We look forward to helping you soon!

Written by Simpsonville Automotive

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