What Makes Your Check Engine Light Come On?

Close Up of Check Engine Light on Speedometer Display

Top Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light is On

If you have been driving for any length of time, there is a good chance that you have experienced the frustration and worry that comes with an illuminated check engine light. When this little light flickers to life, worry and concern set in, preventing you from focusing on the road and raising questions. Take a closer look at the top reasons why your check engine light is on and help diagnose the issue before you stop in and see us at Carlisle Motors, where we offer affordable car loans for car shoppers that suffer from bad credit

1. Bad Oxygen (O2) Sensor

A primary cause of your check engine light coming to life is a bad oxygen (O2) sensor. Your oxygen sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in your exhaust system and if not maintained can hinder performance. Symptoms of a bad O2 sensor will include a loss of fuel economy due to an increase in fuel usage as well as damage to spark plugs and the catalytic converter.

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2. Loose, Damaged or Missing Gas Cap

Woman Mechanic Giving Thumbs UpWhen that demonic little dashboard light comes to life, make sure to check your gas cap. A loose, damaged or missing gas cap can be a primary reason your check engine light came on and is a quick fix. Your gas cap seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure, preventing dangerous fumes from escaping. If you run into this problem, you may experience a loss in fuel.

3. Bad Catalytic Converter

Your catalytic converter helps protect the environment, changing dangerous carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and is often damaged due to lack of maintenance. Indicators that you may have a damaged catalytic converter include failure to pass an emissions test, reduced performance and fuel economy as well as your vehicle operating at a higher temperature.

4. Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

Another element of your vehicle that may cause your check engine light to come to life is a damaged or faulty mass airflow sensor. This component measures and controls the amount of air entering the engine to determine how much fuel is needed to run efficiently. A faulty mass airflow sensor will cause further damage to spark plugs, O2 sensors and the catalytic converter and will impair overall performance.

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5. Bad Spark Plugs or Spark Plug Wires

When you turn the key in your car, it creates a spark and spark plug wires deliver that spark to the spark plugs to ignite the fuel air mixture. In the case that you have bad spark plugs or spark plug wires, you may experience reduced power, trouble starting your car, reduced fuel economy and damage to additional engine components.

Have you ever wondered — what makes your check engine light come on? Take a look at the top reasons why your check engine light is on and help diagnose the issue, preventing further damage to your car. Whether you are having some car trouble and need advice or you are searching for a high-quality, pre-owned vehicle, you have come to the right place. Explore the Carlisle Motors inventory to find the perfect car to fit your lifestyle and budget today.


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