service engine soon light

Why is my check engine light on?

Almost everyone will see their check engine light come on in their car. It isn’t always a sign of a serious problem, but it can be very annoying nonetheless. Whether those orange words “CHECK ENGINE” or the little engine icon is glowing brightly on your dashboard, it can be an unnecessary burden. There are some common causes for the light to come on. Keep reading to learn about them. 

You might also like: How to stop your engine from overheating 

Common reasons your check engine light is on 

Oxygen sensor

If your oxygen sensor needs to be replaced, your check engine light is undoubtedly on. This sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in your car’s exhaust system. A damaged oxygen sensor results in your engine having to use more fuel than necessary. That, in turn, will hurt your gas mileage and can eventually damage your catalytic converter and spark plugs.

You might also be interested in: Ways you can improve your fuel economy 

Missing gas cap 

The problem could really be as simple as a misplaced or loose gas cap. Your gas cap actually serves a pretty important purpose. It maintains the right amount of pressure inside your fuel tank and stops gasoline fumes from being released when your car isn’t running. A new cap might be all it takes to turn your check engine light off. 

Catalytic converter 

We talked about this above, but what does it do? Your catalytic converter converts dangerous carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If it is damaged or missing, your car likely won’t pass an emissions test and your fuel economy will take a hit. For your car’s sake and Mother Earth’s sake, get your catalytic converter fixed.

Spark plugs 

In order to ignite the air and fuel in your vehicle’s combustion chamber, you need spark plugs. If they have become damaged, your car will have a lot less power. Worn spark plugs can also cause your catalytic converter to become plugged.

man with clipboard checking over engine

car engine under hood

Schedule a service appointment