Check Engine Light Causes

It can be alarming when the check engine light comes on. Many people ignore it, but this is definitely a bad idea! A wide variety of issues can turn it on. Bring your vehicle to Quality Star Imports and Domestic for auto maintenance in Las Vegas to find out what’s going on. In the meantime, here are some reasons that could be behind the light.

Is the light blinking?

Most of the time, the check engine light comes on and stays on. However, if there’s a major issue, it may blink (or in some models change from yellow to red). If the light starts blinking, stop the vehicle as soon as you can and get it in for service. If you need auto maintenance in Las Vegas, you can call us.

Loose Gas Cap

A problem with your gas cap can cause the check engine light to come on. The first thing to check is whether it’s tightly secured. Oftentimes it isn’t screwed on completely and a quick adjustment can fix it. It could also indicate an issue with the cap that’s preventing it from closing properly.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor monitors the oxygen levels in your vehicle’s exhaust system. The wrong amount can damage other parts of the engine. If the sensor has failed for some reason, it will turn on the check engine light.

Mass Airflow Sensor Problems

This sensor detects the mixture of fuel and air. If the levels aren’t right, the engine might stall or fail to start at all and the check engine light will come on. It will also turn on if the sensor itself isn’t working.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs need to be replaced after 100,000 miles. The wires occasionally go out as well. The check engine light may indicate that a spark plug is out, and more are probably soon to follow. This can also cause stalling.

Engine Issues

The check engine light can indicate many different engine combustion problems. There is a control module that monitors the engine with a variety of sensors. If it detects anything wrong, it turns on the light. Problems with the sensors themselves will also turn it on.

Catalytic Converter

This is one of the more serious issues that could be behind the light. The catalytic converter is responsible for separating safe and unsafe gasses, and if it fails, it can cause significant damage to the vehicle. It may also pose a health risk. This problem often comes with a rotten-egg smell.

What do I do when the check engine light comes on?

If you’ve tried simple things like tightening the gas cap and the light is still on, get it in for service as soon as possible. Professionals have diagnostic tools to read the engine error codes and find out exactly what’s going on. There are some issues that it’s okay to drive with, but there are plenty of others that can cause costly damage to the vehicle if ignored. At Quality Star Imports and Domestic, we provide customer-focused auto maintenance in Las Vegas to keep your vehicle running its best.