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4 Possible Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light is On

Seeing the check engine light burst to life on your dashboard is enough to make any driver nervous. It's perfectly natural to instantly start stressing about why the light is on, if it's even safe to continue driving or if should you pull over and call a tow truck, and to worry about how much the inevitable repair will cost. Familiarizing yourself with some of the possible reasons the check engine light is on can help calm your nerves and will help you decide what action you should take the next time you see that little, alarming light. Keep reading to discover these four possible reasons why your check engine light is on.

check engine light illuminated on vehicle dashboard

1. The Gas Cap Isn't On Tightly Enough

Each time you fill up, you're supposed to tightly screw on your gas cap. If you don't get it on just right, your check engine light will come on as a kind of warning. Pull over, adjust your gas cap, and drive away. Within a mile or two, the check engine light should go off.

2. Worn Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are crucial to your car's performance. Without them, there wouldn't be a spark to ignite the ignition coil and without that, your car wouldn’t start. Worn spark plugs can cause a variety of issues including engine hesitation and misfiring, both of which can cause your check engine light to illuminate. The good news is that spark plugs are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.

3. Dirty or Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor

Issues with the mass air flow sensor can cause your check engine light to come on. This particular part plays a key role in your car's ability to monitor how much fuel it should be using based on how hard the engine is working. Ignoring even a minor problem with the mass air flow can quickly lead to more serious mechanical problems. In some cases, the problem is nothing more than the part has gotten dirty and needs to be cleaned.

4. Failing Catalytic Converter

A failing catalytic converter can cause your check engine light to come on, but it rarely fails without a reason. When drivers look back, they often realize that there were signs that their vehicle was in mechanical distress that they simply ignored. This is why it's important to take your car into a trusted auto repair shop as soon as you notice something isn't quite right with your vehicle.

Diagnose and Fix Engine Issues at Custom Complete Automotive

At Custom Complete Automotive, we offer check engine light and diagnostic services to get to the bottom of your auto issues, and will make the necessary repairs to keep your car in excellent condition. To learn more about our check engine light and diagnostic services, or to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Missouri, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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