The Check Engine Light: 5 Reasons Yours Keeps Coming On

Seeing the red check engine light pop up on your dashboard is one of the most annoying car problems you can encounter. In many cases, there’s no obvious problem occurring, so you may wonder whether there really is a problem, or whether your vehicle’s computer is malfunctioning. To complicating things even further, there are many, many issues that could trigger this little warning light.

Here’s the good news: the check engine light generally doesn’t require you to make a beeline to the nearest dealership. You likely have many miles left before any sort of damage occurs under the hood. However, it’s a good idea to get to your dealer as soon as possible as a preventative measure. Today’s vehicles are smart, and the computer can tell a technician exactly what the issue is—simplifying the repair process.

If your check engine is constantly turning on, you don’t have to stand for it. If you believe your car may have been sold to you with a defect, reach out to us at 833.4.CARLAW for a free consultation and we will investigate the problem.

Reasons Your Check Engine Light May Be On

Gas Cap

If your check engine light is glowing, check your gas cap before you do anything else. The gas cap seals your fuel system, maintaining consistent pressure. If the cap isn’t properly sealed, fuel may gradually evaporate, forcing you to get to the pump sooner—and triggering your check engine light.

Oxygen Sensor

The O2 sensor tells your vehicle’s computer how much unburned oxygen is in the exhaust system. The computer then uses this information to decide how much air and fuel enters the cylinders. Though a bad oxygen sensor won’t leave you stranded, it may hit your wallet by reducing fuel economy. Over time, it may even damage your spark plugs and catalytic converter. Since the computer can’t make an informed decision while the car is running, a bad O2 sensor may also cause you to fail an emissions test.

Bad Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter takes dangerous carbon monoxide and turns it into less-harmful carbon dioxide. If it clogs, you may run into even more problems. To keep it in good working order, get regular oil changes and drive on the highway every now and then, especially if you typically use your vehicle to drive through the city.

Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor

Your mass airflow sensor is responsible for monitoring the amount of air entering your engine to determine how much fuel is needed. A bad MAF sensor can damage spark plugs, oxygen sensors, or your catalytic converter, and it can also cause stalling and reduced gas mileage.

Bad Spark Plugs

The spark plugs under your hood ignite the air and fuel mixture fed into the combustion chamber. If one spark plug or wire fails, it’s typically not a major issue — every vehicle has more than one. However, fewer working spark plugs places a greater strain on the rest of your systems, leading to reduced power and a dip in fuel economy. Bad spark plugs can also lead to clogged catalytic converters, damaged ignition coils, and malfunctioning oxygen sensors.

Seek Legal Assistance for Your Check Engine Issues

If you’re constantly experiencing engine issues, you may have been sold a lemon. Robison Lemon Law Group can help you navigate both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and lemon laws to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.