Taking Care Of My Car

Why Is Your Check Engine Light On?

Uh oh. You've just turned on your car, and the check engine light comes on. That's never a good thing, right? While that's true, you shouldn't freak out just yet. There are tons of reasons why your check engine light would come on. Only some of them require an expensive car repair. Here are some possible reasons for a check engine light to come on. 

Your Spark Plugs Are Damaged or Worn

Spark plugs are the part of the vehicle that helps ignite fuel in the combustion chamber by creating a spark. When they are worn, your engine performance will suffer. You might experience lower mileage per gallon and difficulty with getting the car going. 

Your Gas Cap Is Missing

Are you sure you remembered to put your gas cap back on the last time you gassed up the tank? Sometimes, a check engine light is as simple as that. 

You Need an Oil Change

Many cars have a special light that tells you when you need an oil change. But if you ignore it, you can experience many engine performance issues that will result in the check engine light coming on. 

Your Catalytic Converter Is Not Performing

The catalytic converter is responsible for converting carbon monoxide into a less harmful substance (CO2). This is another car part that could be damaged when you have a check engine light.

Any Other Engine Part Is Not Working Correctly

In general, since there are many different parts that affect your engine's performance, and there aren't lights that go on to differentiate the different parts, you might have trouble figuring out exactly which part is having an issue on your own unless you have experience in maintaining cars. You will want to look for any other signs of trouble, though, such as smells, noises, or reduced vehicle performance. Write them down and bring them along when you take your car to the shop. 

Generally, if you see the check engine light come on, you want to take your car to a specialist in car engine repair right away. Make this one of your priorities so that you can rule out any serious issues quickly. Minimize driving until you can talk with the specialist. It could be one of the things on this list or many more, so leave it to the experts to do the final diagnosis and get your car the repairs it requires. To learn more, contact an auto shop like Redford Auto Repair.