A stock photo of an activated check engine light.

Your car has warning lights for a reason, listen to what they have to say

What causes a check engine light to come on?

The amount of knowledge it takes to properly diagnose and repair problems with a car is simply too much for the average person to deal with. That’s why the Poulin Auto Sales Service Department is staffed by a team of highly trained experts who can easily handle just about anything a customer can bring to us. However, it can be helpful for our technicians if they know what they’re getting into when they get the work order. If you need to know what causes a check engine light to come on, our team is here to help. Some of these issues don’t require a stop at our repair shop, but others could lead to bigger and more expensive problems. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

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Most common things that activate a check engine light

Bad Oxygen Sensor — The oxygen sensor monitors how much unburned oxygen is in your vehicle’s exhaust system. Not only will an oxygen sensor cause the check engine light to activate, but it can also lead to the vehicle to use more fuel than necessary and can damage the spark plugs and other exhaust system components.

Loose Gas Cap — Sometimes when we’re in a hurry, seemingly simple things can slip by us. An improperly secured gas cap could easily fit that situation. If you drive away from the gas station with a loose gas cap, it can allow gasoline to be lost to evaporation even when the vehicle is stationary. This will naturally lead to a drop in overall fuel economy – as well as a check engine warning. Checking your gas cap for a proper seal should be your first step.

Failing Catalytic Converter — A vehicle’s exhaust system performs a couple of functions. First, it carries waste gasses away from the engine. It also filters out some potential pollutants before they are released into the atmosphere. Because a bad catalytic converter can be a symptom of some other problems, the check engine light works as kind of a catch-all warning. However, a bad catalytic converter can eventually cause several other problems, in addition to making the emissions dirtier.

If you’re tired of constantly seeing the check engine light in your face with every trip, make an appointment to have the problem fixed at Poulin Auto Sales today.