One of the services that we offer our customers here at Great Falls Auto Repair is diagnostic testing to determine why an automobile’s check engine light has come on and won’t turn off. The light will come on when you first start your vehicle but it should turn off within seconds. If it doesn’t, or if illuminates while you’re driving, there is something wrong, so please don’t ignore the problem. Here are five common causes of a check engine warning. The sixth would be an electrical malfunction of the light.
Light Plus Rotten Egg Smell Equals Catalytic Converter Trouble
A troubled catalytic converter cannot turn carbon monoxide into the much safer carbon dioxide before the gas is released through your tailpipe. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur when your check engine light comes on, your catalytic converter is dying. Your vehicle might also overheat.
A Loose Fuel Cap Can Trigger the Light
This might sound funny but if you forgot to screw your gas cap back on tightly your check engine light might come on. The cap creates a seal to prevent gas odors from escaping from the tank. If the cap is too loose, you might get a warning of a problem. Thankfully, this is a minor one.
The Mass Airflow (MAF) Sensor Isn’t Measuring Air
As its name suggests, the MAF is responsible for sensing the amount of air in your engine. Your car, truck, or SUV uses air plus gasoline to create the combustible mixture your spark plugs set on fire. This can be a problem if the air ratio is off because the sensor isn’t measuring it correctly.
The Exhaust is Too Oxygen Rich or Lean
Your vehicle is also equipped with an oxygen sensor that determines how much oxygen is in your vehicle’s exhaust. Because oxygen is flammable, it’s important to know when the levels are too high. If the sensor is failing, your check engine light will come on to alert you of an oxygen issue.
The Spark Plugs Are Misfiring
Finally, the spark plugs can cause a check engine warning. If the plugs aren’t installed properly or are malfunctioning, such as misfiring, your vehicle will warn you of trouble. In most cases, you will feel a spark plug problem, too. Your engine might lurch or sputter as the plugs misfire.
We are Great Falls Auto Repair and we are located in beautiful Great Falls, MT. You can call us at 406-205-2703 to set up an appointment for a vehicle diagnostic check. We’ll find out why your check engine light is coming on and fix it. Call us today.