There are two kinds of people in the car-driving world: the Check Engine light checkers, and the Check Engine light ignorers.
There is no grey area. You either think the light is there for a reason and you check it, or you think it’s just another meaningless sensor glitch designed to drive you to the nearest auto computer technician for emergency wallet surgery.
The hilarious clip from The Big Bang Theory, below, beautifully and succinctly illustrates the two camps. Have a look and then tell us which side you’re on. After the poll, check out the list of Top 5 Most Common Reasons the ‘Check Engine’ light goes on (below video) and see if you still want to ignore it.
FIVE COMMON REASONS YOUR ENGINE LIGHT GOES ON
5: Catalytic Converter
If your check engine light is telling you there is an issue with the catalytic converter, you have our permission to cry. It’s not a cheap fix and you won’t pass an emissions test without it.
4: Spark Plugs
When your spark plug wires get old, or your current spark plugs are going bad, your car may give you the check engine light. You can prevent this problem by and checking your spark plugs and replacing them with good quality plugs and wires when needed. If you know how to replace plugs and wires (actually very easy on most cars) this is an easy and fairly cheap fix.
An MAF is a Mass Air Flow Sensor which helps monitor fuel control based on the air flowing through the system. If an MAF goes out, you can expect to get lower MPGs and maybe even a stalling engine from time to time. You shouldn’t have much problem with the MAF if you have occasionally had new air filters installed properly.
2: Oxygen Sensor
The O2 sensor helps monitor fuel consumption. Having an O2 sensor go out isn’t a big deal, but again, you won’t be able to pass an emissions test without fixing it, and it’ll ding your fuel consumption a bit as well.
1: Loose Gas Cap
This is actually fairly common, and it a loose gas cap is the reason your check engine light is on, be happy. It’s the easiest and cheapest of repairs. You might simply have to tighten or jiggle the cap, or you may have to buy a cheap replacement at a parts shop or online.
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