Top 5 Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light Is On

check engine light

The check engine light can be a very frustrating experience. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered what the heck is wrong with your car.

Thankfully, there are many common reasons why your check engine light might be on. And we’ve compiled them into this list of the top 5 for you to review. So get ready to feel relief!

1. Low Fuel Level

It turns out there’s nothing wrong with your car. However, low fuel will trigger the check engine light to turn on because it needs gas! 

So next time you see that yellow warning signal in your car, make sure you stop and fill up the tank first. Then, you’ll be glad you did when you avoid a hefty bill at the mechanic.

But in the event your car is having issues with fuel, here are some common causes for that:

  • Fuel filter replacement
  • Leaking or contaminated gas tank/line
  • Intake manifold gasket failure

So if you have any of these problems, it’s best to go ahead and get them fixed as soon as possible.

2. Oxygen Sensor Failure

Oxygen sensors, more commonly known as O² or Lambda Sensors, are critical of any car’s emissions system. These little guys help the engine determine how much air is going into your vehicle and adjust the fuel accordingly to produce ideal combustion levels.

So if they’re not working correctly – even if they aren’t broken – you’ll see the check engine light turn on.

There are many reasons why oxygen sensors fail, but some of the most common include:

  • Burnt out or corroded O² sensor ports/cables
  • Faulty oxygen sensors (if not replaced promptly)
  • Poor fuel quality

Since oxygen sensors are an essential part of your car’s emissions system, it’s best to have them checked out as soon as possible if you see the check engine light on.

3. Catalytic Converter Failure

When you see the check engine light turn on, it’s usually a good indication that your catalytic converter fails. This little guy works hard to reduce harmful emissions in vehicles by converting them into less toxic substances.

If there are any issues with your car’s catalytic converter, you’ll see the check engine light turn on. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Exhaust leaks
  • Malfunctioning catalytic converter heater
  • Plugged or dirty catalytic converter pipes

If your catalytic converter is showing any signs of failure, it’s best to take it to a mechanic and get it fixed as soon as possible.

4. Evaporative Emissions Control System Leak

The evaporative emissions control system is responsible for trapping harmful vapors from the fuel tank and carburetor. It then sends these gases through a charcoal canister to be eliminated.

If there’s any kind of leak in this system, you’ll see the check engine light turn on. Some of the most common causes for leaks are:

  • Faulty gas cap
  • Damaged or clogged fuel tank vent lines
  • Flawed evaporative emissions control system (such as a defective purge valve)

If you see the check engine light turn on, it’s best to take your car in for a diagnostic test to determine the real cause of the problem as soon as possible.

5. Faulty Engine Management System

The engine management system is responsible for regulating all the systems in your car that involve combustion. It’s a complex and essential system, so if it’s not working properly, you’ll see the check engine light turn on.

There are many reasons why the engine management system might go wrong, but some of the most common include:

  • Faulty crankshaft sensor
  • Incorrect fuel injection
  • Misfiring spark plugs

These are only a few of the more common causes for your engine management system to go wrong. So, if you see the check engine light turn on, it’s best to take it in and have it checked by a mechanic as soon as possible to avoid serious problems.

To have your car’s check engine light turn off, you need to take the time and effort to get these issues fixed as soon as possible. If you ignore them, they’ll likely cause more expensive damage later on – not only shortening the life of your car.

Contact Safepoint GPS today if you are interested in installing GPS tracking devices that can not only locate the cars on your lot, but also provide vehicle health scans that can possibly prevent the check engine light from coming on.