The Top Five Causes Of Check Engine Light Illumination

  • By Eric Evenstad
  • 07 Jun, 2017
  1. Oxygen sensor.
  2. Gas Cap.
  3. Catalytic Converter.
  4. Mass Air Flow Sensor.
  5. Spark Plugs.

Results from independent studies vary but you get the idea – there are patterns with regard to electro-mechanical devices. As we move deeper into the 2000s the patterns are changing but the check engine light turned on in modern day vehicles is still common.

Purpose Of The Check Engine Light

The check engine light in your vehicle is similar to any other warning light in that it communicates to you that something is going wrong – something has happened that the computer can no longer control – on comes the light.

Codes Or DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes)

Software engineers have written vast amounts of diagnostic algorithms into the software that runs your car. When there is a problem Diagnostic Trouble Codes are written into the computer’s memory and these codes are helpful to a technician charged with discovering why the problem is occurring. Rarely are DTCs descript enough for a technician to read the codes and come to a conclusion with confidence – the variables are too great. Diagnostic work must be done to avoid unnecessary replacement of parts. An interesting note that most people are not aware of is there are literally hundreds of reasons with associated codes for a check engine light to come on. Most but not all codes differ from brand to brand and year over year.

Software engineers have every intention for DTCs to set into memory when a problem occurs however this is not always the case. You can have a check engine light on with no codes written to memory. Conversely you can have codes written to memory without the check engine light coming on.

Throw Enough Mud At The Wall – Some Will Stick

There is a conception out there that we can plug a scanner into a vehicle, download codes and have enough information to fix the car. Can this be done? Yes but you will be buying unnecessary parts and labor – statistically this method of repairing cars fails more often than not. Pay your trusted auto repair professional to conduct a proper diagnosis of the concerns. A proper diagnosis yields information upon which sound decisions are made and sound decision- making is what good financial management is all about.

What To Do – What To Do

When the check engine light comes on always check to see that you properly installed the gas cap. If it’s loose or missing, correct the problem and drive the car for several days to see if the check engine light will clear itself. If the check engine light persists, call your trusted repair shop to discuss with them what course of action to take.

If you are tired of getting the runaround and being treated like you haven’t got a clue, we invite you to try   Colchin Automotive  instead. Give us a call at 303-431-5421 for all of your automotive needs!

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