What Does an Illuminated Check Engine Light Mean?

Did you know that a study was conducted in 2019 to determine the effectiveness of the check engine light? This study proved that the check engine light is right almost 100 percent of the time when it turns on. In other words, you’ve got a problem if the check engine light turns on. There are common reasons why the light will turn on and refuse to turn off. Let’s talk more about this below.

Converter Problems

For example, you may have a problem with the catalytic converter in the exhaust system if the check engine light turns on. The converter can get clogged and start to malfunction. Unfortunately, when it malfunctions, this means you have an increase of harmful emissions in your exhaust. This can trigger the oxygen sensor to send a warning to the engine control unit.

EVAP Control Problems

Your automobile is also equipped with an EVAP control system. As the name suggests, the system is designed to prevent fuel from evaporating out of the fuel tank and the engine. One simple part of the system is your fuel cap. If you do not screw it on tightly after you fill the tank, you may end up with the check engine warning on the dashboard as you leave the service station.

Sensor Problems

You could also end up with problems with two specific sensors in your automobile. If either sensor malfunctions, the main computer chip will turn on the check engine light. These sensors are the mass airflow sensor and the oxygen sensor. The mass airflow sensor may get dirty and malfunction. The oxygen sensor has an average lifespan of 90,000 miles.

Vacuum Leak

Another thing that will result in a check engine warning is a vacuum leak in the engine. When this happens, the engine fills with air and suffers from performance problems. The main computer chip cannot repair the problem because it can’t replace the leaking vacuum hose. Consequently, it will turn on the check engine light to let you know you’ve got an issue.

Transmission Problems

Finally, it’s kind of strange that your dashboard does not have a transmission light, but, nonetheless, it doesn’t. As such, if your transmission starts to malfunction, you’ll end up with a check engine warning. Bring your vehicle to our shop right away so we can determine the transmission problem.

In fact, we can determine the exact reason why the check engine light turned on, so call us today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by M_a_y_a from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

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