There it is. The most worrisome light of all the lights on the dash — the CHECK ENGINE light. A moment of panic sweeps over you. Is this it for your vehicle? Is this going to cost a small fortune? Can you even drive it to the repair shop?
We always advise you to air on the side of caution and get your vehicle to any of the Thayer Family Dealership Service Departments ASAP. We will hook your car up to our diagnostic machine and see what code it pulls. But to ease your mind, let’s go over some of the problems it could be – because it could be something very simple and inexpensive.
1. Loose Gas Cap
Did your gas cap click when you filled up last? Before you do anything else, make sure your gas cap is firmly clicked into place. Sometimes you need a new gas cap, and that’s an inexpensive fix.
2. Oxygen Sensor
The O2 Sensor measures the amount of unburnt oxygen in a car’s exhaust system. It sends data to the vehicle’s computer, which uses it to regulate the mixture of air and fuel that enters the cylinders. A car will keep running even if an O2 sensor needs to be replaced, but it will burn more fuel than usual. In the long run, a bad O2 sensor can damage components like the spark plugs and the catalytic converter. This is also an inexpensive item to fix.
3. Malfunctioned Catalytic Convertor
A catalytic converter is integrated into a vehicle’s exhaust system. It turns the carbon monoxide generated during the combustion process into carbon dioxide. It’s a fairly simple part, and its failure can often be prevented. Every late-model car that runs on gasoline has a catalytic converter. This is a little more pricey to replace. So keep up on oil changes, and your catalytic converter should stay in good working order.
4. Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow (MAF) sensor monitors how much air enters the engine. It’s a part of the engine management system, so your car wouldn’t be able to adjust to changes in altitude without it. Symptoms of an MAF failure include a rough idle, trouble starting, and a sudden change in the position of the throttle pedal. Reduced gas mileage and stalling can also indicate an MAF problem. This is relatively inexpensive to fix.
5. Ignition coils and spark plugs
These parts help start a car. The spark plugs ignite the mixture of air and gas found in the combustion chamber and spark plug wires deliver the spark needed to do this from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. All very cool stuff, and all parts that degrade and could fail in a car over time. In vehicles built this century, spark plugs can last up to 100,000 miles, but they don’t always. This issue is a little bit more expensive to fix.
If you are in search of a reputable and straight-forward repair shop to work on your vehicle, we service all makes and models at the Thayer Family Dealerships. Please contact one of our repair shops today or schedule your appointment online now!
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