Yellow Check engine Light on speedometer

Why Is Your Check Engine Light On?

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light is On

Almost all drivers have experienced the poignant panic that goes hand in hand with that red glowing check engine light. Unless you are a mechanic or automotive aficionado, it is easy to lose your cool in this situation — remain calm, all is well. Your check engine light is there for a reason, to alert you of a potential issue. Learn more about your check engine light with this overview of the top 5 reasons why your check engine light is on.

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1. Faulty or Defective O2 Sensor

Smiling Woman Mechanic in Blue giving Thumbs UpIn the grand scheme of your engine, the Oxygen (O2) sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. If you have a faulty O2 sensor, you will burn extra fuel and it may lead to lower fuel-economy ratings, damaged spark plugs and a damaged catalytic converter. Schedule a service appointment today to have your car checked over in the Prestige Imports Service Department.

2. Loose, Damaged or Missing Gas Cap

It may seem superficial, but your gas cap seals the fuel system of your vehicle and ensures that it retains the correct pressure in the fuel tank. A loose, damaged or missing gas cap allows pressure and fumes to escape while driving. If not replaced, you may lose fuel via evaporation, resulting in more frequent trips to the gas station.

3. Bad Catalytic Converter

A little known element of your engine, the catalytic converter protects the environment by turning dangerous carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide. When routine maintenance is ignored, the catalytic converter may get damaged. With a bad catalytic converter, your vehicle will operate at a higher temperature, will not pass an emissions test and will see decreased performance.

4. Damaged or Defective Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor controls the amount of air that enters your engine, which determines how much fuel is necessary to maximize fuel efficiency. A defective mass airflow sensor will damage spark plugs, the O2 sensor and the catalytic converter if not repaired and will lead to impaired performance and fuel economy.

5. Damaged Spark Plugs or Spark Plug Wires

Spark plugs are a key element of your engine that ignite the air/fuel mixture to create combustion and manufacture power that is distributed via the spark plug wires. If you experience poor fuel economy or lackluster performance, the spark plugs may be to blame. Bad spark plugs and wires can damage the catalytic converter, ignition coils and O2 sensor.

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Are you seeing a downgrade in fuel economy or overall performance when you get behind the wheel? Is your check engine light on? Armed with this overview of the top 5 reasons why your check engine light is on, you can nip that problem in the bud. Should you be looking for an automotive upgrade, take a moment to peruse the Prestige Imports inventory to find your dream car!