There's nothing that can strike fear in a driver quite like seeing the "check engine" light pop on. Whether it causes panic associated with the thought of huge mechanic bills or that we may end up stranded before we can even get to the mechanic, this is a situation no one wants to be in. However, there are some circumstances that can cause the check engine light to come on that aren't an emergency. In this blog post, we'll outline which circumstances may be easily fixed. No matter what, you should always take your vehicle to the SVG service department when the check engine light comes on, but here are the most common causes of check engine lights:
  • Oxygen Sensor: An oxygen sensor measures the unburned oxygen in your vehicle's exhaust system. The data of which it presents sends information for the regulation of the mixture of air and fuel that enters the cylinders. A bad oxygen sensor can damage spark plugs, the catalytic converter, and burn more fuel. While a bad 02 sensor can cause the check engine light to come on, it is not an immediate emergency that could cause you to become stranded (unless you don't address it right away!)
  • Loose Gas Cap: If the gas cap is loose or missing, the check engine light will turn on. It is very important to make sure your gas cap is secured tightly so that fumes are not released into the air, which helps to keep the whole system under the correct pressure. It is probably your gas cap if the check engine light turns on right after you gas up. This is an easy fix, and certainly not an emergency.
  • Catalytic Converter: A catalytic converter helps with converting carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If your catalytic converter does not get replaced, your vehicle will not pass emissions, will experience reduced performance and fuel economy, and your car may run at a higher temperature. A catalytic converter failure may become evident when your exhaust makes an odd, sulfur-like smell when you press on the accelerator hard. This is not an emergency, but it does need addressed in a timely manner.
  • Mass Airflow Sensor: The mass airflow sensor measures how much air enters the engine to determine how much fuel is needed to run your engine. You may notice that your mass airflow sensor is not working if you are experiencing a rough idle, the car is having trouble starting, and a sudden change in the position of the throttle pedal. This situation calls for an immediate trip to the SVG Service Department, as you could end up stranded.
  • Spark Plugs or Plug Wires: Your spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle, and the spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs to make this happen. If the spark plugs or wires are not replaced, you will notice misfire and the hesitation under heavy acceleration, a possibility of a clogged catalytic converter, damage to ignition coils and O2 sensors. Your performance will continue to degrade, so it's best to get this checked at the SVG Service Department quickly.

When your check engine light shows up, don't panic and bring it to SVG Motors in Beavercreek, Ohio for a complete diagnostic. We'll work with you to resolve your vehicle's issue quickly and safely.

Categories: Service

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