Top Reasons Your Check Engine Light Is On

by Felix Ray

Your vehicle comes equipped with a "Check Engine" light on the dashboard. When this illuminates, your first thought will be that something terrible is happening to your vehicle. There are actually a few smaller fixes that allow this light to come on. Here is a summary of some of the reasons why your "Check Engine" light has come on and what you can do to take care of these troubles.

How To Get A Diagnosis

If your "Check Engine" light comes on, you will want to find out what the problem is. You can bring your vehicle to your mechanic, like those at American Transmission Center, and have them hook a machine to your vehicle that gives them a code number for the light illumination. They can check the code in a universal code book to determine the cause for the alarm.

Gas Cap Problem

One of the main reasons you may get a "Check Engine" light would be to bring it to your attention that the gas cap has not been put back on properly. If you leave your gas cap at a gas station and forget to put it back on, you may get this light. It sometimes comes on if you have not tightened the cap completely, allowing air to get into the tank.

Oxygen Sensor

Another reason a "Check Engine" light often comes on is to inform you there is an oxygen sensor problem. This means your vehicle is burning too much or too little fuel. You will need to have the fuel intake checked, or have the fuel pump replaced. 

Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter alarm is another reason your light may come on. This is a major repair and should be handled quickly, if discovered. You will need to replace the exhaust system including the catalytic converter so the emissions your vehicle lets out are safe. Needing a catalytic repair will hinder your ability to have your vehicle pass inspection.

Spark Plugs

Having a misfiring spark plug can cause your light to illuminate. You will want to replace the spark plugs to ensure your vehicle gives you a smooth ride and starts easily every time you turn the key. 

Mass Airflow Sensor

If you have a mass airflow sensor malfunction, you will need to check the amount of air getting to your engine. Without the right amount of air, your vehicle will hesitate or not seem to accelerate properly when you push down on the gas pedal.