Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Check Engine Light

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One thing that we deal with a lot here at JTR Repair is check engine light warnings. It’s tempting to ignore your vehicle’s check engine light, especially if you don’t notice anything wrong with the performance of your automobile. The check engine light is turned on by the Engine Control Module (ECM), however, and this sensor will turn on the dashboard warning when a system reports a problem. In other words, the engine light is on because something is wrong, even if all seems well.

1. Your Catalytic Converter Is Going Bad

One of the primary reasons why the ECM turns on a check engine light is that your catalytic converter is malfunctioning. The catalytic converter is responsible for switching dangerous carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide before it is expelled from your automobile. If the catalytic converter is clogged or going bad, you will get an engine light warning.

2. You’ve Got an Electrical Problem

Another common reason why the check engine light comes on is that there is an electrical problem somewhere in your automobile. The problem could be with the electrical system or wiring, or it could be a problem with the computer sensors or ECM. As you can imagine, electrical problems can be dangerous. As such, the check engine warning is warranted.

3. You’ve Got a Fuel Problem

You might also have a problem in the fuel system. One of the most common reasons why a check engine light comes on is that the gas cap is loose. Another reason why this dashboard warning light is illuminated is that you have a rich air/fuel mixture, meaning you have too much gasoline in the mixture. This will also cause your engine to release black exhaust.

4. You’ve Got a Sensor Problem

As we said above, the check engine light can come on if one of the system sensors or ECM is going bad. Another common reason why drivers receive this dashboard warning is that they have a failing mass airflow sensor or oxygen sensor. These two sensors help control vehicle combustion and exhaust, and if either is going bad, you’ll get a check engine light warning.

5. Your Spark Plugs Are Worn

Your vehicle cannot start without firing spark plugs, and worn or misfiring plugs will trigger a check engine light warning. If it’s been years since you’ve had your spark plugs replaced, it’s probably time to do so. If they are installed incorrectly, they could be firing in the wrong order, and this will cause engine performance issues and a engine light warning.

6. Your Transmission Is Failing

Finally, your transmission does not have a warning light of its own, which is why the engine light will come on if something’s going on in the transmission. Many times, you’ll have other symptoms of transmission trouble, such as grinding gears, gear slippage, difficulty getting your vehicle into gear, or transmission fluid leaks. Have your transmission checked right away.

JTR Repair, Inc., can find out why your engine light came on through diagnostic testing and fix the problem. Set up an appointment with our Crawfordsville, IN, auto repair shop today.