The Dreaded Check Engine Light: What Does It Mean?

check engine light
The Pesky But Important Check Engine Light

One of the worst feelings in the world is when your check engine light goes on. While most drivers assume they’re about to spend big bucks at the mechanic, sometimes a check engine light is something simple. The check engine light is designed to pop on when there are potential problems, not emergency situations. That being said, you should take some time to consider what might be wrong with your car; however, waiting too long could do serious damage. According to LifeHacker.com, there are a range of potential problems. The most common one is a loose gas cap. Believe it or not, this can affect the suction/pressure in the fuel system. Sometimes a check engine light means just pulling over and tightening the cap. It could also just be spark plugs and wires. Generally, spark plugs last about 30,000 miles, so be sure to have your mechanic check them for a potential quick fix. More serious problems include a faulty O2 sensor or catalytic convertor. These are used for emissions control are more expensive due to the cost of parts and complexity of repairs. Though they’re not absolutely necessary, driving without them could do serious damage. Finally, it could be part of the car’s computer. The mass airflow sensor is an easy fix that basically just costs the price of the part. Whether it’s something simple or complex, stop by Ewing Buick GMC and have our vehicle service team look at it.

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