What Could Cause the Check Engine Light to Come On?

A Check Engine Light

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

When you see the orange-yellow engine block pop up on your car’s dash, it may not be a reason to panic, but it does mean there is a problem with your vehicle’s emission system. Often the problem requires you to get a diagnostic run on the car’s computer to discover what’s causing the check engine light to come on. Some possibilities include:

  • A loose gas cap: Tighten the gas cap to prevent air from seeping in or replace the cap if it’s missing.
  • Faulty oxygen sensor: An oxygen sensor will need to be replaced. 
  • Faulty spark plugs or ignition coils: The plugs, wires, or ignition coils may need to be replaced.
  • Catalytic converter has gone bad: The catalytic converter needs to be replaced. Usually, if the catalytic converter is bad the check engine light will blink consistently. If this happens, pull over and have your vehicle towed to an automotive shop.
  • Bad mass air flow sensor: The sensor will need to be replaced.

When you have a check engine light come on in Schaumburg, IL, you’ll want to get the problem diagnosed and repaired. For quality emissions service, count on the experienced team at Express Auto Repair & Emissions. Book a service appointment by calling 847-895-9131

What does check engine light look like

In most vehicles, the check engine light will be yellow-orange and look like an engine. On some cars, the light will simply say “Check Engine,” or “Service Engine Soon”. Warning lights will vary on each vehicle.

Is it safe to drive your car with the check engine light on?

Whether it’s safe to drive with the check engine light on or not will depend on what the problem with the vehicle is. If the light is steady, this means there is a minor fault in the vehicle’s emissions. In most cases, it is OK to continue to drive the vehicle, as long as other systems like the brakes and lights are working, although you may notice your vehicle will use more gas in some instances. If other dashboard lights come on, you will want to take the car in as soon as possible. 

If your check engine light flashes or blinks, this is a sign of a serious problem, usually a faulty catalytic converter. You will want to get the car to a mechanic immediately. It’s best to pull the vehicle over and have it towed to an auto shop. A bad catalytic converter can overheat and even catch fire. 

What do you do when the check engine light comes on?

Whether the check engine light is steady or flashing, the most important thing to do is not panic. If the light is flashing, however, you do want to pull the vehicle over and have it towed to the nearest shop. But, because the light can mean different things, you should take it in as soon as possible to run a diagnostic, or run a diagnostic yourself if you have a scanner available. The test will show what code is causing the light to come on. You can make decisions about repairs after that. Even if it is a loose gas cap that causes the light to turn on, a diagnostic is always a wise choice to ensure that is the problem.

How do you check a check engine light?

When the check engine light comes on, to determine what’s wrong with your vehicle, you will need to have a diagnostic test run on it. You can purchase various scanners and run the diagnostic yourself or you can take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and have them run the test. Usually, the scanners a mechanic will have will be more detailed than one you purchase yourself. 

Can check engine light mean nothing

Rarely, if ever, will a check engine warning pop up for no reason. Of course, when the light comes on, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a mechanical failure. It could simply mean your gas cap is loose and needs to be tightened. If you’ve already tightened your gas cap and the light is still on, bring it in to Express Auto Repair & Emissions and we’ll run a diagnostic on it.

Can low oil cause the check engine light to come on?

Low oil pressure is one possible reason why the check engine warning has come on. If there is a low oil pressure problem, the oil warning light normally will also come on. The oil pump could be damaged or the oil was changed improperly and air is circulating through the system.

Will check engine light come on for bad fuel pump

A faulty fuel pump may also cause your check engine warning to come on. As with other possibilities, a diagnostic test can determine if the fuel pump is the problem.

A Mechanic Runs a Diagnostic on an Engine.

Where to diagnose check engine light

If you want a thorough diagnostic run on your check engine light in Schaumburg, IL, schedule an appointment with Express Auto Repair & Emissions by calling __PHONE__. We offer a full range of automotive repair and maintenance services.