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Why is My Check Engine Light On?

When your check engine light comes on, it’s important to find out why it’s blinking on your dashboard. A potential small and minor fix could be the reason behind it! However, it could also be a warning of a major repair that’s needed.

To help you figure out why your check engine light came on, our experts at Fred Beans compiled this helpful article for our customers in Philadelphia, Doylestown, Flemington, Mechanicsburg, and nearby communities. By understanding why your “check engine” light flickered on, you can ensure your car lasts for many more years and miles.

What is the Check Engine Light?

Why is My Check Engine Light On?Your check engine light is an indicator light on your dashboard that registers a problem from your car’s engine computer. This light comes in yellow or orange and is usually steady, but if it’s flashing, it means that there’s a serious problem with your engine.

Your check engine light shouldn’t be confused with your service or maintenance required indicator light, which is meant to let you know that your car needs one of its routine maintenance tasks performed.

Here are the top four reasons your check engine light may come on:

Oxygen Sensor

Your car’s oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. If you don’t replace it, your engine will burn more fuel than it should, which can reduce your fuel economy by up to 40%.

Furthermore, a faulty oxygen sensor can eventually damage your catalytic converter or spark plugs, which can become a much more expensive repair in the future.

Fuel Cap

Why is My Check Engine Light On?Your fuel cap seals the fuel tank and keeps the pressure steady. It also keeps gasoline fumes from being released into the air. If your fuel cap is loose, broken, or missing, your check engine light will come on.

This is generally a minor issue but ignoring it can result in a loss of fuel through evaporation and more frequent trips to the gas station.

Catalytic Converter

Your catalytic converter is used to protect the environment by converting toxic carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide. If you neglect your catalytic converter or ignore other repairs that could affect it, it’ll need to be repaired or replaced sooner than anticipated.

If you ignore your catalytic converter problem, your fuel economy and car performance will suffer, and your engine could run at a higher temperature. When it comes time for your inspection, too, your car won’t pass the emissions test. Due to the importance of the catalytic converter, you’ll want to be certain that it’s operating properly and efficiently.

Mass Airflow Sensor

Your mass airflow sensor measures the air coming into the engine to determine how much fuel is needed to keep your engine efficient. When this needs to be replaced, your check engine light will come on.

If you don’t service your mass airflow sensor, your car won’t perform efficiently and your spark plugs, catalytic converter, or O2 sensors could become damaged over time.

Make Your Service Appointment at Fred Beans

As you can see, neglecting your check engine light could have serious and expensive consequences for your car over time.

The best way to avoid costly repairs is to take care of the problem when it arises. If you see your check engine light come on while you’re driving around Philadelphia, Doylestown, Flemington, or Mechanicsburg, call or visit the service center at Fred Beans to schedule a service appointment today!

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