The check engine light is one of the most common dashboard warnings, but very few of us know what it means. Unfortunately, many choose to ignore the sign until it eventually shuts off – or causes a major issue. While the reason your light came on is usually not too serious, it is better to know what the problem could be. That way, you can get it fixed faster. There are five common areas of service indicated by the check engine light.

Loose or Damaged Gas CapCheck_Engine

When your gas cap isn’t completely screwed on or it has cracked, fuel leaks out and evaporates. This can cause reduced gas mileage and increased emissions. Rather than ignoring this issue and spending more time at the gas station, always make sure the cap is intact and on tight.

Oxygen Sensor Failure

Your vehicle’s oxygen sensor keeps track of the amount of fuel you burn while driving. It does so by monitoring the unburned oxygen in your exhaust tank. When you experience a sensor failure, your overall gas mileage will decrease because the engine is forced to use more fuel.

Malfunctioning Spark Plugs

When the check engine light comes on and you feel a jolt while accelerating, it is a sign that you might need new spark plugs. Their purpose is to power your vehicle through engine combustion. If ignored, faulty spark plugs will reduce fuel economy.

Broken Mass Airflow Sensor

This component of your vehicle determines fuel efficiency. It measures the amount of air needed to run the engine in a proficient way. When the sensor breaks, the performance of your vehicle will be reduced. To combat this issue, be sure to replace your air filter annually.

Catalytic Converter Needs Replacing

The catalytic converter reduces emissions by converting them into other harmless compounds. When it needs to be replaced, you will experience reduced gas mileage and speed. Ignoring a broken down catalytic converter allows your vehicle to emit an over-abundance of dangerous toxins into our environment.

The check engine light often comes on without warning and without an explanation. However, it can be detrimental to your vehicle’s performance to ignore. Visit DaSilva’s Auto Body for a full diagnostics test the next time your check engine light flashes and we’ll solve the problem for you on site.