What does the Check Engine Light Tell Me?
The automotive boogeyman comes in the form of a little orange light that appears on your dashboard, unannounced and unwelcomed. It seems to be one of those things that people fear, without really knowing why they do. To be straight, this light is not telling you that your car is doomed for the crusher, it's just letting you know about what is likely a relatively small problem. However, that small problem will get much worse should you choose to ignore the light, as demonstrated by this first example of a check engine light problem.
Failed Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is part of your exhaust system which is tasked with converting hazardous exhaust gases into less harmful emissions. This is one of the most expensive parts on any vehicle. If it suddenly is no longer able to do its job the check engine light will illuminate. However, if it is found that there is a problem with this part is likely means that light was on for some time, triggered by a much smaller problem that was wrongfully ignored, thus resulting in the failure of the catalytic converter. For this reason you should always visit the repair shop for check engine light diagnostics as soon as the light comes on.
Bad Spark Plugs or Wires
The spark plugs are tasked with igniting the air and fuel mixture thus creating the tiny explosion that that powers the pistons. If the spark plugs lose their become dirty or corroded or otherwise cannot properly produce spark it will result in misfiring that will cause the engine to run very rough and greatly reduce fuel economy, thus triggering the light.
Your vehicle is chock full of sensors for taking many readings throughout the vehicle. If a sensor can no longer do its job it will often trigger the check engine light. Two of the most frequent sensors that trigger the light are the mass air flow sensor and the oxygen sensor. The MAF sensor measures incoming air flow to calculate the proper air/fuel mixture and the O2 sensor takes oxygen readings in the exhaust that also alter this reading.
Loose or Broken Gas Cap
Perhaps the best you can hope for if your check engine light comes on is a loose or broken gas cap. This is a very simple and inexpensive fix that will have you back on the road in no time. Just make sure you always tighten that cap before leaving the gas station to prevent this from happening.
If you need check engine light diagnostics in Tacoma for your BMW, Mercedes, MIni or other European auto, visit Autobahn Specialists. Our team of European auto repair technicians use the latest technology to ensure that your car is serviced properly the first time. To schedule an appointment for professional European auto repair in Tacoma give us a call at (253) 235-0904!
Autobahn Specialists Inc. Blog
Written By Brian Corey
Published By MORBiZ
4 Neat Facts about Land Rover You Didn't Know
Does My European Auto Need Brake Repair?
Top Reasons a Gas Gauge Reads Wrong
Customer Reviews of Autobahn Specialists in Tacoma, WA
Must Know Land Rover Problems
What does the Check Engine Light Tell Me?
What are the Common Signs of Engine Trouble?
Independent Mercedes Repair in Tacoma
Top Causes of No Starts
How do I know if my European car needs transmission repair?
What Causes a Car Battery to Die?
4 Signs it is Time for Suspension Repair Now
How to Find an Great Auto Shop for your German Car
Easy Tips to Restore Fuel Efficiency
Top Signs Your Car Needs Brake Repair Today!
4 Signs Your European Car Needs Suspension Repair
Top 5 Reasons to Use an Independent European Auto Repair Specialist
Must Know MINI Problems
4 Steps to Finding a Great European Auto Repair Shop
Do I Need to Replace the Alternator?
5 Signs it's time for European Engine Repair
Why are Oil Changes so Important for My European Vehicle?
Does My European Car Need Transmission Service? These Signs Say Yes!
Is it Time for Clutch Repair?
What car problems create strange noises?
What does Colorful Exhaust Represent?
5 Ways to Identify Automotive Trouble
What is a Dealership Alternative Auto Repair Shop?
Common Volvo Problems You Need to Know
4 Auto Electric Problems that Prevent Starting
Why is Routine Auto Maintenance Necessary for European Cars?
5 Signs it is Time for Brake Service
What's a tune up?
5 Auto Maintenance Services to Keep Your Vehicle Running Great for Miles & Miles
How do I know if my car needs suspension repair?
Common Questions about Servicing European Vehicles
5 Symptoms of Cooling System Trouble
How do I know if my car needs engine repair?
Do I Need European Vehicle Inspection Before I Buy a Used Car?
These 6 signs of trouble mean you need European transmission repair now!
4 Must Know Electrical Problems with the Audi A4
How to Find a Quality European Auto Repair Shop
The Benefits of Using OEM Parts for European Auto Repairs
5 Signs Your Car Needs Transmission Repair
Does my car have an exhaust leak?
Why Should I Use a European Auto Specialist?
Why is the Check Engine Light Illuminated?
Why do Vehicles have so many Computers?
5 Common Mini Cooper Problems
Common Problems with Vehicle Electrical Systems
The Importance of Regular Oil Changes
4 Common Mercedes Benz E Class Problems to Watch Our For
What is Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
Debunking European Vehicle Maintenance Myths
Signs Your Car Needs Ignition Repair
5 Signs Your Car Needs Brake Repair
4 Common Problems with 3 Series BMWs
How to Select a Quality BMW Repair Shop