What is the Check Engine Light Telling You?

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What is the Check Engine Light Telling You?

Few things can make your stomach drop like seeing the check engine light pop on as you drive down the road. Immediate thoughts of expensive repair bills flood the brain as drivers try and grasp what is wrong with their car. "It seems to be running fine..." "There is no smoke..." "I don't hear anything..." these are all common first thoughts after seeing the little dashboard indicator light illuminate. Well many times your car is doing you a great favor by letting you know about an issue that is causing a major drop in fuel efficiency or an impending problem that can be resolved before it's too late. Here' a look at some of the more common problems associated with the check engine light.

Faulty O2 Sensor

The oxygen sensor monitors the oxygen in the exhaust to ensure a correct air fuel mixture is being burned. If it fails it will not be able to help calculate this very important ratio, which can drop fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent!

Catalytic Converter

This part converts hazardous exhaust fumes into less harmful emissions, but it won't fail with some underlying issue, that likely would have triggered the light first.. Because the catalytic converter contains precious metals it is one of the most expensive repairs that can be done on a car. For this reason it is important to take your car to the shop as soon as the check engine light comes on, in order to prevent problems from getting worse.

Loose Gas Cap

A cracked, broken or loose gas cap will allow for gasoline to evaporate out of the filler hose, meaning you're losing gas that you won't even get a chance to use. Make sure your gas cap is tight every time you leave the pump to ensure the light doesn't come on because of this issue.

MAF Sensor

The mass air flow sensor is another part of the system that determines the correct air/fuel mixture. It often fails because it simply gets dirty, which makes for a very inexpensive and fast repair. If this issue is not taken care of you can expect a 10-25 percent drop in your miles per gallon.

Bad EGR Valve

The EGR, or exhaust gas recirculation, valve is part of your emissions control system. If it fails you will notice a lack or power, reduced MPGs, rough idling and your vehicle will not be able to pass an emissions test.

When your check engine light comes on don't think that your car will fix itself or that it isn't a big problem, or that it is too expensive to fix. You won't know what the issue is until you have a expert auto repair mechanic run some test. For check engine light diagnostics in Valencia or the surrounding area head in to Simply Smog & Valencia Auto Performance. Our staff will work to quickly identify the issue, get it fixed and have you on your way. Call us today at (661) 259-5600 to schedule an appointment for professional auto repair in Valencia!

Simply Smog & Valencia Auto Performance Blog

Written By Brian Corey

Published By MORBiZ

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