How to Fix Your Check Engine Light

March 29th, 2019 by

Check engine light illuminated on dash

You’re driving like normal when suddenly, you notice an amber glow from your dashboard. Your check engine light has popped on out of nowhere, and you have no idea what to do. Is your engine dying? Is your car unsafe to drive? Many drivers find themselves in a panic while wondering how to fix their check engine light, but luckily, it’s not always such a bad omen. In fact, the culprit could be as simple as a loose gas cap! In this guide, we’ll go into the common causes for a check engine light, along with how to get your car back to normal.

Common Culprits

If you keep up with your routine maintenance, you can expect a long lifespan out of the components of your vehicle. But even with the best care, wear and tear will eventually catch up to your car. Here are some areas that might need extra attention if you notice your check engine light illuminated:

  • Gas Cap: A loose gas cap won’t maintain the proper pressure in the fuel tank, so your vehicle may alert you to give it a good twist.
  • Oxygen Sensor: If your oxygen sensors start to go, you might notice problems with fuel economy and idling.
  • Air Fuel Ratio Sensor: This component controls the air-fuel mixture as it moves toward the engine, and a damaged part can reduce your fuel economy and responsiveness.
  • Mass Air Flow Sensor: This piece controls how much fuel to send to the vehicle, which can affect other engine components like your catalytic converter and spark plugs.
  • Ignition Coils: Driving in rough conditions? Your ignition coils might be spent, which can affect your engine power.
  • Spark Plug Wires: These small parts can halt your engine’s performance before it even reaches the coils!
  • Spark Plugs: Think you have issues with your car starter? Double check your spark plugs!
  • Thermostat: A faulty thermostat can lead to skyrocketing temperatures in your engine.
  • EGR Valve: Have you kept up with your oil changes? A faulty EGR Valve can be caused by carbon build-up from dirty oil.
  • Evaporative Emission Canister Purge Valve: This part controls the release of fuel vapor, and a damaged part can result in difficulty starting your engine.
  • Catalytic Converter: If your catalytic converter needs work, this may point to a number of underlying issues from spark plugs to oxygen sensors.

Diagnose Your Car Woes with CarHop

Whether you’re dealing with a faulty alternator or a dying battery, CarHop can help. Find out how to jump start a car today, or keep up with our blog for more DIY vehicle maintenance tips like how to properly clean your dashboard. If you’re starting your search for your next vehicle, check out the dependable used vehicles at your local CarHop.

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