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It seems to be the easiest thing in the world to ignore: the check engine light. Unfortunately paying no attention to that little orange glow could land you in some hot water at the auto shop. Chances are that when that light first comes on there is a small problem that could be fixed quickly and inexpensively. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to find out just what is actually wrong, the more the problem will become exacerbated. Here's a look at some of the most common issues related to the illumination of the check engine light.
Loose Gas Cap
You may be surprised to learn that not tightening your gas cap after filling up could cause the light to turn on. This is because a loose cap will allow for gas to evaporate out of the filler hose, thus wasting fuel your car never even had a chance to use. Always be sure to tighten up after filling up.
Failed O2 Sensor
The oxygen sensor is in the exhaust system and monitors oxygen levels in the emissions to help dictate the correct air and fuel mixture. Many times the sensor just needs to be cleaned and reset.
Malfunctioning MAF Sensor
Another sensor that helps to ensure the correct air and fuel mixture is the mass airflow sensor. It measures incoming air and calculates how much needs to be mixed with gasoline. A malfunctioning MAF sensor can greatly reduce your fuel efficiency.
Misfiring Spark Plugs
Misfiring spark plugs can also reduce your miles per gallon. Even if they are off by a split second it will prevent fuel from being properly burnt and can cause numerous other problems for your vehicle's engine.
Failed Catalytic Converter
One of the worst problems related to the check engine light is finding out that you need a new catalytic converter. This piece of the exhaust system converts hazardous exhaust fumes into less harmful emissions, but it won't fail unless some other problem occurs first, such as a failed oxygen sensor. This is why it is extremely important to have diagnostics ran as soon as the light comes on.
If you need check engine light diagnostics in Lancaster or the surrounding area be sure to head into McKonly's Garage. We utilize state of the art diagnostic and repair technology at our auto maintenance shop. Give us a call today at (717) 208-8210 to make an appointment for expert auto repair in Lancaster.
McKonly's Garage Blog
Written By Brian Corey
Published By MORBiZ