What To Do When a Check Engine Light Comes On

What To Do When a Check Engine Light Comes On

There are a number of things you don’t want to see pop up on your car’s dashboard. One of these things is the “check engine light”. But what if the check engine light comes on? It is crucial that when this light comes on, you know what you should inspect. Below are some things to examine if the check engine light comes on.

The Fuel Cap

A loose fuel cap is one of the main reasons your check engine light will come on. Fortunately, this is usually easy to fix. Safely bring your car to a stop and check if the fuel cap is loose. If it is, tighten it. In some cases, you may need to replace the fuel cap.

Temperature Gauge

If the temperature gauge is reading high, it could be an indication that your vehicle’s coolant levels are low. If the temperature gauge is reading high, turn your car off to prevent further damage. Add water or coolant to your vehicle and see if the check engine light goes off.

Oil Pressure Gauge

Low oil pressure can cause the engine light to come on. So check your oil pressure gauge for an indication of low oil pressure. Turn the car off if your oil pressure is low to prevent further damage.

Spark Plugs/Ignition Coils

A bad or faulty spark plug or ignition coil could lead to the check engine light coming on. Check your spark plugs and ignition coils and replace them as soon as you diagnose the issue.

Battery and Charging System

If the battery’s charge is low or there are issues with the alternator, it can cause the check engine light to come on.

Fuel

If you have contaminated fuel, your check engine light may come on. This is quite common, often due to deliberate fuel adulteration, or water seeping into the  fuel storage tanks. Other signs of contaminated fuel apart from check engine light include your engine starting rougher than usual or not having power, misfiring, backfiring, and pinging. 

Other issues that may cause your check engine light to come on include the following;

  • Oxygen sensor failure
  • Catalytic converter failure
  • Bad spark plug wires
  • Vacuum leak
  • Recirculation valve failure
  • Issues with the aftermarket alarm.

Lastly, but definitely not least, if the check engine light comes on, ensure you get your vehicle checked at a mechanic’s shop immediately.

 

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