There's nothing more mysterious than the check engine light coming on in your car, after all, your car doesn't seem to be acting any different. As such, most people tend to opt to simply ignore the light, until a noticeable problem presents itself. However, ignoring the engine light can actually be quite costly in the long run, even if it doesn't necessarily mean that your car is down and out. Here are some of the most common reasons the check engine light might come on.
Something Is Wrong With Your Gas Cap
Let's start with the most simple of the potential problems: a damaged or missing gas cap. The gas cap actually maintains the internal pressure inside the fuel tank, as well as serves as a seal to prevent the fuel from evaporating on hot days. So, with a damaged or missing gas cap, you're fuel economy is secretly taking a rather large hit.
The O2 Sensor Needs Replacing
Your vehicle has an O2 sensor in it. Yet, this sensor plays a rather important role in your cars functionality, as it manages how much fuel is burned when driving. With a faulty sensor, you can find yourself once again losing precious gas mileage. You might be reluctant to shell out the money for a new one, but not doing so can spell disaster for your catalytic converter eventually. Footing the bill now is much more preferable than having to spend a few thousand dollars on replacing a more expensive part.
Spark Plugs Or Wires Are Failing
Your spark plugs play an important role in the operation of your vehicle, as they allow the current to travel across them and initiate combustion in your engine. In other words, spark plugs are necessary for your car to function at all. The sensor light can indicate that there is a problem in some of the plugs and surrounding wires which should be fixed right away. Luckily, this is very simple and easy to do yourself. Consult your driver's manual and locate the plugs so that you can simply pull the old ones out and put in new ones. Of all the other problems above, spark plugs failing actually have a noticeable, albeit subtle affect on your car. It will usually manifest as small jolts when you try to accelerate.
However, just because your engine light is on doesn't mean that you should start just replacing parts randomly. Instead, if you go to an auto shop, they'll usually be able to pinpoint the trouble directly with a computer. One company that might be able to assist you with your problem is ABS Unlimited Auto Repair.