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What Does this Engine Light on My Dashboard Mean?

Most drivers do not think much of their dashboard lights. Until they turn on.

Then, you find yourself fumbling through the glove compartment looking for your owner’s manual to decode the message your light is trying to tell you. Engine lights mean many things, and some manufacturers complicate it further by having blinks and colours that indicate different issues.

To save yourself the hassles of thumbing through hundreds of pages in your manual, know the most common reasons for a check engine light.

check engine light

5 Reasons a Check Engine Light Comes on and How to React

Whether you are on your way out of town or to the office, that check engine light does not have to strike fear in your mind. Instead, be prepared by knowing the reasons you get a warning signal from your check engine light, and how you must react when one illuminates on the dashboard.

  1. Your Vehicle Requires a New Oxygen Sensor: Your vehicle’s oxygen sensor monitors all unburned oxygen from the exhaust. Once the sensor dies out, the computer in your vehicle requests replacement by turning on the check engine light. Your car, depending on the model, could have two to four sensors. A code reader identifies which sensor requires replacement. When you have a sensor issue, take your car in soon. Otherwise, you might cause damage to your catalytic converter.
  2. Your Gas Cap is Loose: Gas caps are more important than you realize. They protect your vehicle from fuel vapor loss, and when the cap is not tightened properly or it breaks, the fuel system notifies you with a check engine light. Check the gas cap when the light turns on. Sometimes tightening it is all you need, or purchase a new one and replace it if it is damaged.
  3. The Catalytic Converter is Down: Your catalytic converter has one goal: to reduce exhaust gas containments. Once it starts to breakdown, you see a noticeable difference in gas mileage and your vehicle’s acceleration. If it is on the brink of failure, get it repaired quickly. Once it permanently dies out, your car will not remain on.
  4. Airflow Sensors are Indicating Trouble: The airflow sensor tells your vehicle’s computer system to add fuel based on how much air comes out of the engine. When the sensor dies out, you have lower fuel economy, and your car might stall. You can drive a few weeks with this, but it is best to have it repaired immediately. Otherwise, you might notice dangerous stalling or frequent fill-ups.
  5. Spark Plugs or Wiring Caused the Light: Spark plugs are relatively cheap to replace, but have a vital job. They seal your car’s combustion chamber and offer a gap for the spark to jump and initiate your engine’s combustion. Spark plugs last a fairly long time, depending on when your vehicle was made. If they fail, replace them right away.

Light On? Bring Your Vehicle in for Auto Repair in Vancouver and Its Surrounding Cities

There is no need to worry and fret when the light turns on. Instead, bring your car to Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres. We can read the code from your vehicle’s computer and diagnose the reason for the warning engine light. If ready to repair, we can help you get your vehicle back up to top shape.

Take advantage of our convenient locations throughout the region and find a location near you today. For questions regarding auto repairs in Vancouver and surrounding cities, contact a centre in your area.


Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres Address Common Issues

Here at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres in British Columbia, we’re always pleased to help our customers get the most out of their cars and trucks. To that end, we’ll add a relevant blog topic from time to time to keep you up to date and getting the most out of your vehicle.