Your vehicle’s check engine light is an extremely valuable feature. It warns you when there’s a potential problem. Never wait to take your car in for a Spokane Valley check engine light service. While the issue could be just a loose gas gap, the best approach is not to take any chances.
Unfortunately, a flashing check light signals a serious problem. If your check engine light is flashing, pull over and shut off the engine as soon as possible. You don’t want any serious damage to occur. Spokane Valley check engine light service is needed immediately! While a steady check engine light still requires attention, there’s a much lower chance of you experiencing a sudden breakdown. It’s probably safe to drive your car until you can schedule a visit to the shop. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of a steady check engine light.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Your vehicle is designed with at least two oxygen sensors, which measure the level of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. When one of the oxygen sensors goes bad, expect your check engine light to come on. If you continue to drive with a bad oxygen sensor, gas mileage may start to plummet. Your engine will struggle to maintain the optimum air-fuel ratio. Even worse, there's a greater chance for the catalytic converter to become damaged.
Loose or Missing Gas Cap
Each day, dozens of drivers either fail to tighten their gas cap or forget to replace it after refueling. With this may not initially seem like a serious issue, it can cause problems. For starters, a missing or loose gas cap allows gasoline fumes to leak from the tank. Not only do the fumes contribute to environmental pollution, but you’ll also be wasting fuel.
Bad Catalytic Converter
Your vehicle’s catalytic converter is engineered to prevent harmful exhaust emissions from escaping into the atmosphere. It converts toxic carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Aside from triggering a check engine light, a bad catalytic converter will also give you a few other warning signs. Some of the red flags include sluggish acceleration, engine misfiring and a rotten egg smell. Even if your vehicle seems to drive fine, a malfunctioning catalytic converter will result in a failed emissions test.
Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor
A mass airflow sensor is a critical component. By measuring airflow, it can determine how much fuel needs to be sent to the engine. When this sensor fails, several other parts can become damaged. Of course, fuel economy will also suffer. In severe cases, you may notice black smoke coming from the exhaust.
Bad Spark Plugs and Wires
Modern spark plugs can now last for more than 100,000 miles. However, they will eventually start to wear out. Bad spark plug wires can also trigger a check engine light. Because these components can have a significant impact on a vehicle's drivability, you should get them replaced promptly. Your car will eventually start to experience rough idling and hard starting.