Are you wondering what to do when the check engine light comes on? There are many lights on your dashboard, and you probably aren’t familiar with all of them. One light that you should be familiar with is the check engine light. There are many reasons why this light may pop on. The check engine light is probably one of the most mysterious to figure out. Read on further to learn about some of the most common reasons why your check engine light has come on.
Common Reasons for a Check Engine Light
Here are the top 5 reasons your check engine light may be on.
Problems With Your Engine
The exact problem with your engine at this time may not be known until you have it checked out by a mechanic. However, this is just one of the reasons why your engine light may have popped on. The problem with your engine could be minor or major. Minor issues can negatively impact your fuel economy and emissions rating. But, not having these checked out can easily turn into more major problems that can possibly lead to engine failure.
Loose or Damaged Parts
If any parts of your vehicle are damaged or loose, the check engine light will pop on. For example, if your gas cap is loose, your engine light will pop on. This is a problem that will not cause any harm to your vehicle.
Problems With a Sensor
Your check engine light may also come on if your diagnostic system detects something faulty. For example, there could be a problem with your oxygen sensor. Your oxygen sensor is responsible for measuring oxygen that hasn’t been burned within your exhaust system. There could also be an issue with your mass air flow sensor, which measures the amount of air that comes through your engine to help determine how much fuel your vehicle needs.
Issues With Transmission
Your transmission can also trigger your check engine light to come on. Of course, there will have to be some type of fault or breakdown within the transmission. But, if you ignore this problem, it could increase tailpipe emissions.
Engine Is Overheating
This is a problem that you want to take care of immediately. If your engine’s coolant isn’t changed correctly, it can result in the thermostat deteriorating. This can cause the engine to overheat. If your engine is overheating, your engine light will come on.
Driving With a Check Engine Light On
How long can you drive with the check engine light on? Most people will ignore the light until they actually begin seeing clear indicators that something is wrong. While this may be tempting, it is not recommended. The issue can be something small but then later develops into something major. Something that can start off costing you little to nothing, can end up costing you way more in repairs.
So, if your check engine light does happen to pop on, don’t wait until the last minute to have it checked out by a mechanic.