If you’re driving in Coeur d’Alene and your car’s check engine light comes on, would you know what to do? If not, you have plenty of company. Many drivers don’t know what the check engine light means or what to do if it comes on. We’ll cover some of the reasons the check engine light might come on, so you can determine when to bring your vehicle in for Coeur d'Alene check engine light service.
The good news is that when the check engine light comes on, it’s usually not an emergency. It could be something as simple and easy to fix as a faulty gas cap. But sometimes the check engine light is an indication of a serious problem. Fortunately, in CDA, check engine light service is always nearby. Just contact the Knudtsen Chevrolet Service Center for help.
Steady or Flashing Light?
The check engine light can either appear steady or flashing. If the check engine light is flashing, it means there’s a problem that needs immediate attention. A flashing light usually indicates that the ignition system is misfiring. When this occurs, unburned fuel is deposited into the exhaust system, which can damage your vehicle’s catalytic converter. If ignored, this situation will likely result in the need for major repair work. If your check engine light comes on and it’s flashing, pull over, turn off the vehicle’s ignition, and call for roadside help.
A steady check engine light means there’s a problem that needs your attention, but it isn’t urgent. If your vehicle’s check engine light comes on and it’s steady, contact the Knudtsen Chevrolet Service Department and schedule an appointment. The service technician will use specialized equipment to diagnose the cause of the problem. A steady check engine light can indicate a problem in one of the following areas.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Your vehicle has an oxygen (O2) sensor that measures the unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. When this sensor is broken, the engine will burn more fuel. You’ll notice a decrease in fuel economy. If left untended, a defective O2 sensor can damage your vehicle’s catalytic converter and spark plugs.
Broken Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If the catalytic converter stops working, you’ll notice decreased fuel economy. The engine will lose some of its power, and the vehicle may fail an emissions test.
Loose, Damaged or Missing Gas Cap
Your car’s gas cap may seem insignificant, but it keeps gasoline fumes from escaping from the vehicle’s fuel system. If your check engine light comes on and you notice the gas cap is loose, tighten it. If the gas cap is damaged or missing, it needs to be replaced, or the gasoline will evaporate. This will cause a drop in fuel economy.
Defective Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor measures the engine’s air inflow and regulates the volume of fuel needed to run the engine. If this part breaks, it can damage the catalytic converter, the O2 sensor and the spark plugs. The vehicle’s performance will suffer, and there will be reduced fuel economy.
Faulty Spark Plugs
Defective spark plugs and wires can damage the catalytic converter, the O2 sensors and the ignition coils. You’ll notice reduced performance fuel economy.