You’re driving along the road when suddenly your car’s check engine light comes on. If you’re like most people, you won’t know what it means or how to respond. We’ll go over the different reasons your check engine light may come on and explain what to do if you notice your Chevrolet check engine light in Pinehurst.
In most cases, the check engine light isn’t an emergency, so don’t panic. It could be something as minor as a faulty gas cap, but it could also be a serious problem like a misfiring engine. If the check engine light comes on, you will need to bring your Chevrolet in for Pinehurst Chevrolet CEL service, but there’s usually no need to pull your car over and call a tow truck. Don’t ignore the check engine light. If you do, you could end up with an expensive repair bill.
To understand whether the check engine light is alerting you to a serious problem, look to see if it’s flashing or steady. A flashing check engine light indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. The main cause of a flashing light is a misfire in the ignition system that’s so severe, unburned fuel is being dumped into the exhaust system. This will quickly cause damage to the catalytic converter and lead to an expensive repair. If the check engine light is flashing, it’s best to pull over, turn off the ignition and call for assistance.
If the check engine light is glowing steadily, it’s not urgent, but you should schedule an appointment with the Knudtsen Chevrolet Service Center as soon as possible. A steady light means the vehicle’s computer system isn’t receiving data from one of the vehicle’s sensors. It can also mean the data is outside the range considered to be normal. A steady check engine light can also indicate a problem besides the engine. For example, a problem with the transmission can trigger the check engine light, as can the vehicle’s four-wheel- or all-wheel drive system.
These are some of the most common reasons the check engine light may come on:
The oxygen sensor needs replacement. The oxygen sensor measures the unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. Failure to replace a faulty oxygen sensor will cause the engine to burn more fuel than necessary, lowering your vehicle’s fuel economy. It can possibly damage the catalytic converter and spark plugs.
The gas cap is missing, loose or damaged. The gas cap seals the vehicle’s fuel system and prevents the release of gasoline fumes. If you don’t replace the gas cap, fuel can evaporate, causing a loss of fuel efficiency.
The catalytic converter needs to be replaced. The catalytic converter converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Driving with a faulty catalytic converter can result in the vehicle failing to pass an emissions test, as well as reduced performance and fuel economy.
The mass airflow sensor needs replacement. This part measures the engine’s air inflow and determines the amount of fuel necessary to run the engine efficiently. If the mass airflow sensor isn’t replaced, it can damage the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor or spark plugs. Fuel economy and performance will take a hit.
The spark plugs are bad. If your vehicle needs new spark plugs or spark plug wires, it can cause reduced power, decreased fuel economy, damaged ignition coils, a clogged catalytic converter or damaged oxygen sensors.
If your engine light goes on, don’t take it lightly. Contact the experts at the Knudtsen Chevrolet Service Center. We’ll diagnose the problem and quickly correct any issue we locate.