The “Check Engine” light on a car’s dashboard is equivalent to going to the doctor’s office with a cough; odds are it’s just a minor issue, but’s it’s always good to have it looked at by a professional.
Oftentimes a Check Engine light issue can be solved with a simple fix, but other times it’s a sign of a more serious problem. Below, you can see some of the more common problems that can cause a check engine light to illuminate.
Gas Cap – One of the most common reasons why your Check Engine light is on is because there is a problem with your gas cap. Sometimes you can fix the problem by simply tightening the cap. If you drove away from the gas station with the cap on the roof of the car, you can usually find a replacement cap for $20-$30.
Spark Plugs – If you know what you’re doing, installing new spark plugs can be a relatively cheap fix, but you’ll want to make sure the spark plugs are what’s causing your Check Engine light to stay on. New spark plugs can cost anywhere from $20-$50, but you’ll pay more if you need to have a mechanic do the work. Neglecting this issue can lead to big problems down the road.
Oxygen Sensor – One way your car determines if it’s burning the correct amount of fuel is through a component called an “oxygen sensor”. The sensor measures a vehicle’s exhaust in order to ensure your car is using the optimal amount of fuel. It usually costs between $200-$300 to have your oxygen sensor replaced, and it’s worth it. Ignoring the problem can reduce your fuel economy by 40 percent, which can add up to a lot of wasted cash in no time at all.
Mass Airflow Sensor – Another sensor that can set you back a couple hundred bucks if problems arise is your mass airflow sensor. This sensor is responsible for measuring the amount of air that flows into the engine. A broken airflow sensor can cause your car to hesitate or surge when accelerating, and it can decrease your gas mileage.
Catalytic Converter – Unfortunately, another common reason why your Check Engine light is on is because of an issue with your catalytic converter. If your catalytic converter becomes clogged, you might notice that your car fails to accelerate properly when you press the gas. You also may experience a drop in gas mileage, and the converter will begin to overheat. The converter helps make your emissions less harmful through a chemical conversion process, and as you can guess it’s not a cheap fix. A busted catalytic converter will run you between $1,000-$3,000.
If you notice your Check Engine light is on, it’s a wise decision to bring it in to a trusted mechanic. We’ll diagnose the problem and have the issue addressed in no time.
Related source: AutoTrader.com