The “Check Engine” Light: Should it be a cause of worry?

The “Check Engine” Light, also known as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp, is usually a cause of worry for many car owners. It is designed to activate in instances when the car’s computer system notices something wrong with the electronic control system. But what else does this warning device tells us aside from the fact that there is “something wrong” with our vehicle? Below, I have listed some specific malfunctions that would activate our car’s Check Engine Light (CEL).

Check Engine LightOxygen Sensor: It is the sensor that keeps track of how much oxygen in the exhaust has been burned. A busted oxygen sensor may cause a decrease in gas mileage an increase is harmful fuel emissions. If this incident is the cause of the CEL, replace your oxygen sensor as soon as you can. Damage to such sensors can be caused by oil ashes that cover it over time.

Loose Gas Cap: A faulty gas cap is probably the last thing one can think of when it comes to finding the reason for CEL’s warning. And although it’s as simple as it sounds, this problem should considered seriously as not replacing a loose gas cap could lead to excessive fuel vapors, resulting to a decrease in gas mileage.

Worn-out spark plugs: Like the engine, radiator, and alternator, the spark plug can be identified as an essential car part. Worn-out spark plugs cause major issues with the car’s acceleration power, causing the CEL to activate. When you encounter such cases, simply replace your car’s spark plug with a newer piece and things should be back to normal in no time.  So there. Faulty spark plugs should not be a cause of worry to car owners, but it should be addressed once identified.

Catalytic Converter: The combustion process of this car part converts the gasses within the engine to a less harmful exhaust. Once you realize that the CEL is pointing to the failure of the catalytic converter, make it a priority that you have it repair or replaced; further damage would mean more expense for the owner. That would be a real bummer. So act quickly.

Airflow Sensor: The airflow sensor incorporates proper distribution of air intake and fuel in the engine system. A busted airflow sensor can cause a decrease acceleration power, an increase in emission and an increase in gas consumption as well. An improperly-installed airflow sensor could be the cause of such a malfunction.

The problems listed above shouldn’t be that much cause of a worry as they are usually very easy to fix. As long as you are always conscious with your car’s warning devices, you won’t suffer any serious accidents. So the moment you notice that your Check Engine Light is flickering, take your car to your trusted automotive shop.

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