From a blown tire to a faulty oil pump, when it comes to owning and operating a vehicle, there are any number of things that can go wrong. However, nothing is more disheartening than seeing the check engine light appear on your dashboard. There are several reasons why your check engine light will turn on, and luckily, many of these reasons are easy to fix. Here are a few of the most common reasons why a check engine light will go on.
A Loose or Broken Gas Cap
Often, the cause of a check engine light is a very simple fix: your gas cap. If you forget to secure your gas cap, if the gas cap is cracked or damaged, or if the gas cap is missing, the check engine light can be triggered. A secure gas cap helps create adequate pressure in the gas tank, which prevents vapor from the fuel to leak and trigger the check engine light.
Check to make sure the gas cap is secure and is not damaged or missing. Once you secure or replace the gas cap, start your vehicle to ensure the check engine light is off. If the check engine light is not off, talk to a mechanic to determine if there is another issue present.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Your vehicle's oxygen sensor plays an important role because it regulates the flow of oxygen into the engine. The ideal balance of oxygen and fuel is necessary to ensure the engine burns the proper amount of fuel to run and maintain fuel efficiency. If your oxygen sensor is faulty, it can not only cause you to burn excess fuel, it can also trigger your vehicle's check engine light.
Depending upon the make, model, or age of your vehicle, your car or truck might have multiple oxygen sensors that will need to be inspected by a qualified mechanic to determine if this is the reason why your check engine light has turned on.
Faulty Catalytic Converter
Finally, one of the most common causes of a check engine light can be found underneath your vehicle: a faulty catalytic converter. A catalytic converter is responsible for converting emissions from your vehicle, including carbon monoxide, into less-toxic gases.
Signs of a faulty catalytic converter include strange odors, loss of power and performance, and engine misfiring. Do not attempt to repair a faulty catalytic converter on your own and instead, contact a mechanic to perform an expert repair.
From a bad catalytic converter to a failing oxygen sensor, there are several common reasons why your vehicle's check engine light will turn on. Reach out to a local used car and truck repair service to learn more.