Is your Check Engine Light on?
The check engine light is never a fun sight to see, but it is there to help us prevent more serious damage, which in the long run will save you a nice amount of money if you keep attentive to the needs of your vehicle. The check engine light will alert you of issues simple as a loose gas cap all the way to a failed crankshaft and everything in between. Below will be listed a lot of the major causes/concerns that are presented when the check engine light illuminates
Fuel: Fuel is vital to engine operation. If there is an issue in the fuel system the check engine light will illuminate to warn you of the issue. Usual causes are bad fuel pumps/filters, bad/dirty fuel is often a culprit as well.
Exhaust: The exhaust system is there to help the engine breathe out all burned vapors from the engine power stroke. If the exhaust system develops a leak or becomes plugged the check engine light will illuminate to warn you that the engine cannot properly breathe.
Emission system: The evaporative emissions system is present to help minimize atmospheric vapor leaks. It cycles fuel and fuel vapor back to the fuel tank as well as the evaporative canister(used for storing excess gases). If there is a leak in the system it will set the check engine light.
Transmission: The transmission does not usually have a separate warning, so when there is a transmission warning it will illuminate the check engine light and set a transmission code.
Security/Theft system: The theft system uses radio frequency broadcasts that monitor the vehicle and ignition system. If it sees an attempted theft or develops an issue with the key/remote it will inhibit the engine from starting and will set a check engine light.
Sensor: There are many sensors on the vehicle that can cause the check engine light to illuminate. Getting the codes read will reveal whatever sensor the problem is originating from
Cooling system: If the engine detects a cooling issue it will set a check engine light as well as possibly set the engine into ‘limp’ mode to prevent overheating and damaging the engine.
Timing system: If the engine develops a timing issue the check engine light will illuminate to help prevent possible engine damage. It can be anything from a tensioner to a bad belt.
Any time you have a check engine light on the first thing you want to do is get it scanned and see what code is present. I highly suggest grabbing your own inexpensive to keep at home, but if you do not want one you can go to most local auto parts stores and they will scan the car and tell you the codes for free. Checkout our review for the Best Scan Tools – 2017.
Don’t ignore the check engine light if you see it, a lot of the times it is something minor, but in case of those times when it is something serious, you’ll be happy you got it checked out.
As always, have fun and stay safe!!