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What Is the Purpose of the Check Engine Light?

The purpose of your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s check engine light is to alert you of problems in the engine that you may not be aware of otherwise. A 2019 study demonstrated that the check engine light is nearly 100 percent accurate in warning drivers of engine trouble. Vielhaber’s Garage can run a diagnostic test to determine why your check engine light is on. Here are potential problems.

Clogged Catalytic Converter

If your catalytic converter gets clogged, exhaust will back up into the combustion chamber. This can turn on the check engine light and also cause engine performance lag. In addition, you may also smell rotten eggs and feel a ton of heat coming from underneath your automobile.

Faulty Engine Control Unit

The engine control unit is your vehicle’s main computer chip. If it goes bad, the check engine light will come on. Unfortunately, your engine may also shut off. This can happen when the engine control unit malfunctions. You won’t be able to get your vehicle started again.

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

Another crucial sensor in your automobile is the mass airflow sensor. Also called the MAF sensor, this sensor can malfunction if it gets too dirty. When this happens, the check engine light turns on and you will notice a difference in your engine’s performance and fuel economy.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The same is true with the oxygen sensor. This sensor is located in your tailpipe. It’s also called the O2 sensor, and it measures the levels of oxygen in your vehicle’s exhaust. It is a very common reason for a check engine warning on the dashboard.

Loose Fuel Cap

A minor problem that can turn on the check engine light is if you don’t have a tight seal over your fuel tank. It may be that you didn’t screw on the fuel cap tightly the last time you filled up, or the cap itself may no longer be able to create a seal over the gas tank.

Transmission Problems

Transmission problems can also turn on the check engine light because the transmission doesn’t have a light. Aside from the check engine warning, you may notice problems when your vehicle attempts to shift through the gear cycle.

Vacuum Leak

A leaking vacuum hose in the engine can also turn on the check engine light. This is because the engine fills with air and this air disrupts the balance between the fuel and air in the combustion chamber.

Worn Spark Plugs

Finally, worn spark plugs can also turn on the check engine light. Aside from the dashboard warning, you will notice your vehicle’s engine misfiring, and, in severe cases, it may stall frequently.

Call Vielhaber’s Garage in Findlay, OH, today if your check engine light is on.

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