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Leading Causes of Check Engine Lights

Last updated 5 years ago

The check engine light is designed to respond when a wide variety of issues have gone awry. As a result, drivers are often left in the dark about the specific causes of this illuminated warning sign. Try diagnosing the following common causes before taking your vehicle into the shop.

  • Gas Cap Solutions: Vapors released by a loose or cracked gas cap are enough to offset the careful equilibrium of your engine systems. As a result, these seemingly minute issues will set off your check engine light. Make this your first diagnostic check if you notice the check engine light. If you notice a crack in the gas cap, you can buy a new one at most auto shops.
  • Spark Plug Problems: Spark plugs are an important part of the vehicle’s combustion process. These tiny components perform double duty as a combustion chamber seal and as the energy source for the ignition system. Eventually, spark plugs will wear and corrode. Without regular replacement, spark plugs will begin to misfire and may trigger the check engine light. Try changing your spark plugs at least every 100,000 miles.
  • Airflow Issues: Your engine’s airflow sensor monitors and controls the amount of oxygen entering your engine. This information is then used to balance the amount of fuel necessary to keep your engine operating consistently. The improper installation of these sensors or dirty air filters can cause the accuracy of these readings to decline. Failure to keep filters clean will inevitably result in an illuminated check engine light.
  • Catalytic Converter Problems: Much of your vehicles most harmful emissions are filtered into benign chemicals by the catalytic converter. However, when this mechanism fails, your gas mileage will decline and eventually your vehicle will cease to operate. Poor gas mileage and the illumination of the engine light are signs that your converter may need professional attention.

Professional repair specialists can use a sophisticated code reader to identify the source of check engine light problems. Stop second-guessing engine issues today with a quick call to Dekalb Tire and Automotive Repair at (404) 252-9895.


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