Is Your ‘Check Engine Light’ On? Here Is What You Need To Do

There are many lights in your car’s instrument cluster. But one that you don’t want to see ‘ON’ is the ‘Check Engine Light (CEL). When CEL is ‘ON,’ it warns that your vehicle’s computer (every car has a computer, which is called ECU) has detected a malfunctioning component in its emission control system.

If you ignore it, you’ll put your car, or even yourself, in danger.

What is Check Engine Light?

Better known as Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), ‘Check Engine Light’ is a signal from the car “Engine Computer” that something is wrong. ECU does all the math to run more efficiently. Every time you start ignition, the ECU runs several tests across the powertrain (every essential component in the car) to make sure everything is at its optimum performance.

Check Engine Light could mean something as trivial as a “Loose Gas Cap” or something major like “Faulty Spark Plugs,” “Emission of High Levels of Pollutants” or “Water Getting Into the Engine.”

  • When CEL Blinks - If Check Engine Light blinks while you drive, it is a serious issue. You should immediately stop the car. In case you keep driving, it could unleash heavy damage to some expensive parts of the vehicle. At times like this, consider getting your car towed away or checked by a professional mechanic.
  • Steady Light - If the CEL is showing Steady Light, it is not something emergency and a major issue. You can keep driving. But, you should visit a local car repair shop for a quick check-up as soon as you reach your destination

What Causes Check Engine Light to Turn On

Catalytic Converter Failure – A catalytic converter plays a significant role. It converts harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and injurious hydrocarbons, and other toxic gases into less toxic gases through the exhaust system. A malfunction in the catalytic converter can be the reason for poor mileage and can end up in the loss of power. A faulty oxygen sensor, spark plugs can also be the cause of Catalytic failure. You should change the oil regularly to keep the converter working properly.

Oxygen Sensor Malfunction - The role of oxygen sensor is to monitor and measure how much fuel the car burns. Most cars come equipped with two or four oxygen sensors. If any of these sensors malfunctions, it triggers the engine light on. Malfunction in sensor increases emissions, reduces gas mileage, damages catalytic converter.

Mass Airflow Sensor Fault – Mass Airflow Sensor helps ECU decide air to fuel ratio for efficient burning of fuel. Failing to change the air filter in a while chokes the airflow to the engine. It causes vehicle stalling, bad mileage and poor idling. If the sensor stops working, its replacement can be a pretty costly affair.

Ignition Coil or Spark Plugs Fault – Ignition coils generate electricity and spark plugs use it to ignite the engine’s cylinders. Any misfire in the process could lead to turning the Engine Light on. Note that diesel engines don’t come with spark plugs or coil. So, this particular problem is not for them. When spark plugs or ignition coils get damaged, the car will be slow to accelerate.

Meet your local mechanic who can spark plugs or coil in a jiffy without charging much. At times, mechanics may find it difficult to figure out what’s the problem is actually. It could be just some loose sensor wires.

Replace Thermostat - Thermostat regulates the flow of coolant to the engine. If the coolant is contaminated with some substances or dirt, it turns corrosive and the engine overheats. In addition to this, a coolant leak also triggers the light if the engine begins to heat.

To conclude, if your check engine light turns on while driving, let our mechanic diagnose the problem. To check the actual problem, we use a diagnostic computer or electronic scan tool to retrieve Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). DTC Codes are used by us to detect problems associated with the vehicle. These codes enable us to understand what needs to be fixed to keep vehicles safe and healthy. Moreover, you can also contact us for Tire, Rim, Wheel service. We're experts in Custom Wheels, Tire Installation, Wheel Alignments, Tire Repair.