One of the least understood warning signs in a vehicle is the check engine light. Parts indirectly related to the engine may cause the issue and not immediately affect the vehicle's performance, causing many drivers to simply ignore the signal. To help you better understand this warning light, car diagnostics experts at Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair in Kalispell, MT, share some of the problems commonly associated with it.

Car Diagnostics Specialist Gives Common Check Engine Light Issues

1. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor

An oxygen (O2) sensor measures unburned oxygen in your car’s exhaust system and monitors how much fuel is burned. A malfunctioning sensor sends the wrong data to your vehicle’s onboard computer, leading to poor fuel efficiency. Failing to replace this can also cause damage to other components, like the spark plugs and catalytic converter.  

2. Loose Gas Cap

There are times that a loose or faulty gas cap can trigger the check engine light, so tighten or replace it to keep the fuel from evaporating quickly. Ignoring this simple issue can increase fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.  

3. Failing Catalytic Converter

car diagnosticsA catalytic converter converts carbon monoxide into less harmful emissions. It often malfunctions due to neglect or the presence of underlying issues, such as deteriorated spark plugs or a broken O2 sensor. Although it’s expensive to fix, delaying its replacement can significantly affect gas mileage and vehicle performance.  

4. Deteriorated Spark Plugs & Wires

Bad spark plugs and wires can cause the engine to misfire, making you feel a little jolt when you accelerate. Since they initiate combustion in your vehicle’s engine, failing to replace them can cause irreparable, costly damage to the catalytic converter.

If your check engine light comes on, turn to the car diagnostics experts at Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair for accurate diagnosis. Their experienced auto repair mechanics will help you keep your car running in optimal condition so you can stay safe on the road. Learn more about their tuneup and engine repair services by checking them out online, or call (406) 755-0234 to schedule an appointment.