Reasons Your Check Engine Light is On!

Reasons Your Check Engine Light is On!

The orange, engine-shaped icon that sometimes appears in your car’s instrument cluster isn’t just a nuisance – it is a clear sign that something is wrong under the hood. The check engine light warns of issues ranging from a gas cap that is not properly tightened to a more serious failure like a bad catalytic converter or a problem with one of the car’s oxygen sensors.

Here are some of the reasons why it could be on from ReedManToll Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Jenkintown:

Oxygen sensor failure

The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburnt oxygen in a car’s exhaust system. It sends data to the vehicle’s computer, which uses it to regulate the mixture of air and fuel that enters the cylinders. A car will keep running even if an O2 sensor needs to be replaced, but it will burn more fuel than usual. In the long run, a bad O2 sensor can damage components like the spark plugs and the catalytic converter. It may also cause a car to fail an emissions test.

Loose gas cap

A loose gas cap is one of the most common reasons why the check engine light turns on. The cap is a crucial part of a car’s fuel-delivery system. It notably prevents gasoline fumes from leaving the fuel tank, and it helps keep the whole system under the correct pressure. If your check engine light turns on immediately after a fill-up, pull over and make sure the cap isn’t loose or still on your car’s roof. Sometimes the cap needs to be replaced, but it isn’t a problem that’s going to hit your wallet hard. 

Spark plug/ignition coil issues

An ignition coil generates the electricity the spark plugs need to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the cylinders. Classic cars have a single coil, but many modern vehicles use one coil per cylinder. A malfunctioning coil will almost certainly trigger the check engine light, but remember, if your car burns diesel, you have neither ignition coils nor spark plugs.

Bad spark plug wires

As its name implies, a spark plug wire transfers electricity from the coil to the spark plug. Without it, the fuel and air mixture in the cylinders wouldn’t ignite. A vast majority of cars use a single wire per cylinder, but there are models with two spark plugs per cylinder, and consequently two wires. Symptoms of bad spark plug wires include a rough idle, a noticeable drop in engine performance, and lower gas mileage. 

Ignoring these issues could leave you stranded at the worst moment, cost you thousands of dollars, or both, so if you notice the check engine light on, call in professionals immediately.

Are you or anyone in your family looking for a new, or used car head on over to ReedManToll Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Jenkintown.  Not only do they have a great selection of vehicles they will make sure they help you in every way they can.


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