If your car’s check engine light comes on suddenly, it may be disconcerting. If you’re not sure what to do when this occurs, you have a lot of company. Many drivers are unsure which actions to take when the check engine light comes on. Fortunately, if you live in Rathdrum, check engine light service is minutes away at Knudtsen Chevrolet in Post Falls. Read on, and we’ll go over some of the reasons the light may appear on the dashm and we’ll explain the best course of action.
In most cases, the check engine light (sometimes abbreviated as CEL) doesn’t indicate an emergency. But there are some cases where the check engine light requires immediate attention. If your vehicle’s check engine light comes on, you’ll need to bring it to a service center that can diagnose the check engine light in Rathdrum.
If the check engine light is flashing, it’s an indication of a serious issue that must be addressed immediately. In most instances, it means the car’s ignition system is misfiring. This condition, which occurs when unburned fuel is dumped into the exhaust system, will damage the vehicle’s catalytic converter. If you notice the check engine light flashing, pull your car over to the side of the road, turn off the ignition, and call for roadside assistance.
A steady check engine light indicates a problem that needs attention, but it’s not an emergency. Don’t ignore a steady check engine light, because it’s a warning that a serious issue may occur down the road. Make an appointment with the Knudtsen Chevrolet Service Center. Our service technicians will diagnose and remedy the problem.
A steady check engine light can indicate one of several different problems, including a faulty oxygen sensor, a bad catalytic converter, a malfunctioning mass airflow sensor, defective spark plugs or a broken gas cap.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Your vehicle’s oxygen (O2) sensor measures the level of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. A broken O2 sensor will cause fuel to burn more quickly. You’ll get lower fuel economy, and if the situation isn’t remedied, it could lead to damage to the catalytic converter or the spark plugs.
Bad Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If this important component fails, your vehicle will see a performance hit and lower fuel-efficiency. If you live in a state that requires an emissions test, the car may not pass.
Malfunctioning Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor measures the inflow of air into the engine and controls the volume of fuel necessary to run the engine correctly. A malfunctioning airflow sensor can damage the catalytic converter, the O2 sensor and the spark plugs. The vehicle will also experience a drop in fuel economy.
Defective Spark Plugs
Worn spark plugs can damage other components, including the catalytic converter, the ignition coils and the O2 sensor. The vehicle will experience a drop in performance and fuel economy.
Broken, Missing or Loose Gas Cap
The gas cap keeps fumes from escaping from the gas tank. A broke, missing or loose gas cap can pollute the air and reduce the vehicle’s fuel efficiency by up to 2%. If the gas cap is missing or broken, it must be replaced. If it’s loose, it can be tightened.