You want to take proper care of your vehicle, so you can ensure it continues to provide you with safe and reliable transportation. Along with having the car properly serviced, you also want to know how to spot problems along the way. Your car will have a check engine light installed to help indicate when there is something that needs to be tended to. In some cases, the engine light can come on for very minor issues. In other situations, the check engine light may indicate more serious problems that require immediate attention. Here is a brief guide on check engine lights that you should read as a responsible car owner:
Some minor reasons for the check engine light to come on
The gas cap requires attention
A very minor reason why the check engine light can come on is to indicate there is an issue with the gas cap. In most cases, the gas cap may be loose. If this is the case, you can fix the problem simply by tightening it. However, the gas cap may be broken or missing completely as well. If this is the case, you'll want to replace it as soon as you can to avoid the ongoing escaping of vapors and to prevent an increase in harmful emissions.
The car needs an oil change
The check engine light can come on to remind you that the car needs an oil change. As long as the oil gets changed soon, everything should be fine. However, ignoring the issue can cause problems in the engine because it will be running on dirty oil that can be damaging.
Some more serious reasons for the check engine light to come on
The car needs new spark plugs
The spark plugs can cause an array of performance issues when they need replacing. Some of these problems can include engine misfiring, a reduction in the car's fuel economy, and more. If the check engine light has come on due to the spark plugs needing replacement, you should take the car in and have it done soon. Eventually, the car can stop running if the issue isn't tended to.
There are catalytic converter problems
Another reason why the check engine light can come on is that the catalytic converter is faulty. This part is an essential component of the car's emissions system. Taking the car in right away can prevent the fuel economy and its performance from being affected negatively. It will also be best for the environment to act quickly.
If you can't quickly determine why your car's check engine light has come on, it's best to take your car in to be looked at. Note that even if you took care of the issue yourself, you may still need to take the car in to have the light reset, or it may not turn off.
Contact a local auto service, such as All German Auto, to learn more.