Many drivers panic at the site of a warning light on their car’s dashboard. What has gone wrong? How bad is the issue? Will I need a major repair? Your car’s check engine light exists to alert you to one of many possible issues, which is why it’s not always easy to determine the problem without having proper vehicle diagnostics performed. Since the reason for the indicator warning illumination can range from a minor issue to a major malfunction, it’s best to tend to the issue as soon as you notice the alert.
Check Engine Light Causes
The check engine light, like other symbols that drivers may witness on their vehicle’s dashboard, indicates that something isn’t right with your vehicle. Sometimes, the issue is minor and may not require immediate repair.
Minor Vehicle Issues:
Minor problems that can trigger your car’s check engine light to illuminate include:
Loose fuel cap
Bad oxygen sensor
Failing spark plugs
Bad spark plug wires
Faulty mass airflow sensor
Major Vehicle Issues:
Your check engine light can also be an indication of a serious issue with one of your vehicle’s main components. The more severe problems that can trigger this warning light include:
Faulty catalytic converter
Throttle body malfunction
Fuel injector or ignition coil issue
Coolant system malfunction
Even if you believe that the reason your car’s check engine light has come on is due to a minor issue, it’s essential to have the vehicle inspected as soon as you can in order to confirm the severity of the problem and fix it before it gets worse.
Assessing Check Engine Light Activity
Not every check engine warning will occur in the same way. Some drivers experience a check engine light that only illuminates in certain driving conditions, such as when they’re driving in a city. If this happens to you, take note of when the light comes on and whether or not your vehicle experiences any difference in the way it runs and drives. If additional symptoms seem to be present, try to drive the vehicle as little as possible until you can bring it in to be inspected by a Frederick, MD auto repair specialist.
If your check engine light comes on and stays on during the entire time you are driving, this often indicates a problem with a vital component of your emission control or engine management system. Major issues like this frequently make driving unsafe and can lead to stalling or stopping unexpectedly. Another indication of a serious issue is a steadily pulsing or blinking of the check engine light.
Our Frederick, MD Auto Repair Specialists are Here to Help
Whether or not you suspect your check engine light warning is due to a minor or major problem, it’s best to assess the issue as soon as possible. If your indicator has come on due to something small that doesn’t require a major repair, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing no severe damage has been done. The sooner you have your vehicle inspected and diagnosed, the easier it is to avoid costly repairs and severe issues. Additionally, scheduling routine preventative maintenance and oil changes can help you avoid many of the problems that cause your check engine light to come on.
At Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions, we’re dedicated to providing Frederick, MD drivers and vehicle owners throughout the state with high-quality auto repair and maintenance. To find out why your check engine light is coming on, or to set up an appointment for preventative maintenance, contact our experts today.