You revved up your vehicle and started driving when suddenly your check engine light turned on. Then, you rack your brains for reasons why.
Generally, if the check engine light is flashing (or red instead of orange in some car models), it’s a sign indicating that there is a severe malfunction. You should call in an expert immediately.
If the light is steady, it’s an indicator that there is a minor malfunction, but it still requires immediate attention.
So if this happens to you, here are 4 common reasons why your check engine light is on:
1. You have a loosely closed, damaged, or missing gas cap. If you just fueled up before the check engine light turned on, this most likely is the cause. The gas cap might have been loosely closed, or you forgot to put it back. Stop-over to a safe place, and properly close the gas cap. Check also if the gas cap has any cracks or damage. If the gas cap is loosely closed, damaged or missing, it can cause fuel loss through evaporation and cost you your money.
2. our catalytic converter is deteriorating.A catalytic converter is a device that controls the exhaust emission to reduce pollution going out into the environment. If the catalytic converter is faulty, your car will expel large amounts of carbon monoxide exhaust into the environment.
It can go to early failure if it doesn’t undergo regular maintenance. A damaged catalytic converter may also be a result of faulty oxygen sensors or spark plugs.
3. You have defective oxygen (O2) sensorsAn oxygen sensor monitors the amount of unburned O2 in the engine’s exhaust system. The data it receives is used by the computer to control the fuel mixture, which then can ensure optimal fuel efficiency and decrease exhaust emissions. If the O2 sensor fails, the needed reaction time to regulate the fuel mixture becomes slower, and hence it causes emissions to increase. This also decreases the efficiency of the catalytic converter, leading to its subsequent deterioration.
Regular replacement of O2 sensors is recommended.
4. Your spark plug or plug wires are damaged The ignition coil creates a spark that is then transferred through plug wires. This spark is then delivered to a spark plug, which ignites the air/fuel mixture of the engine. Hence, faulty spark plug and wires are the usual reasons for failure of an engine to start.
If a spark plug fails during driving, it can cause engine misfires. Engine performance is also affected because there is reduced power from lack of ignition, which can also reduce fuel efficiency. Faulty plug wires or fouled spark plugs can leak large amounts of unburned fuel to pass the exhaust, leading to increase in temperature of the catalytic converter, potentially damaging it.
Regular replacement of spark plugs and plug wires is also recommended.
These are the 4 common reasons why your check engine light is on. Finding out why these happen will help you save money and keep yourself away from more frustrations in the future.
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If your check engine light is on and your car wont start you can always call Toronto Towing to take a look for you.