You may have never seen your vehicle’s check engine light (CEL), but it’s important to understand what to do if it comes on. This article will explain why your car’s check engine light might come on and the best action to take. If you live in Winslow, check engine light diagnosis is quick and easy when you visit the Winslow Ford Service Center.
If your car’s check engine light comes on, it’s usually not an emergency. You’ll first want to notice whether the light is steady or flashing. A flashing light is serious. When the check engine light flashes, it usually means the ignition system is misfiring. When this happens, unburned fuel is dumped directly into the vehicle’s exhaust system. This can damage the catalytic converter and create a serious repair situation if not corrected immediately. If you notice a flashing light, bring your vehicle to our service department for our expert CEL diagnosis in Winslow.
A steady light indicates a problem that isn’t urgent but needs your attention. Call the Winslow Ford Service Center and schedule a service visit. Several problems can trigger a steady check engine light. These are some of the most common reasons:
Loose, Damaged, or Missing Gas Cap
Your car’s gas cap creates a seal that prevents the fuel system from releasing gasoline fumes into the air. If the check engine light goes off, inspect the gas cap to see if it’s loose, broken, or missing. If it’s loose, tighten it. A damaged or missing cap should be replaced. If you don’t replace a damaged or missing gas cap, gasoline will evaporate, and you’ll get lower fuel economy. If the gas cap was the cause of the check engine light and you’ve taken care of the problem, the light should turn off within 24 hours.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
Your vehicle’s oxygen (O2) sensor measures the unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. If you don’t replace a bad O2 sensor, the engine will burn extra fuel. You’ll notice a drop in fuel efficiency. A faulty O2 sensor can damage the car’s catalytic converter and spark plugs.
Damaged Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor measures the engine’s air inflow. It regulates the amount of fuel needed to run the engine properly. If you don’t replace a faulty mass airflow sensor, it can damage the O2 sensor, the spark plugs, and the catalytic converter. You’ll notice lower performance and a drop in fuel economy.
Bad Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is an essential component that converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If the catalytic converter needs replacement, your car may fail an emissions test. The vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency will suffer.
Broken Spark Plugs
Faulty spark plugs and wires can damage the O2 sensors, the ignition coils, and the catalytic converter. You’ll notice the reduced performance, and your vehicle will take a hit in fuel economy.
Don’t ignore a check engine light. If it comes on, contact the Winslow Ford Service Center right away. Our certified technicians will diagnose the issue and fix any problems we discover.