Check engine lights have a way of sticking in every owner’s mind. Sure, there are some owners that sleep well at night even when their check engine light is on, but there are a lot of people who can’t sleep when their auto has a problem.
The good news is that a high-end diagnostic tool can read the error codes your check engine light is trying to tell you.
Our Fixd review goes into great detail on how to use a diagnostic tool to remedy your check engine light.
But if you don’t have Fixd yet and want to know the most common reasons for a check engine light coming on, that’s what we’re going to discuss.
The O2 sensor must be replaced if you don’t want the following to happen:
If you have a single exhaust, you’ll likely have 2 oxygen sensors. If your vehicle has two exhausts, there’s a good chance that you have 4 oxygen sensors. You may need to replace more than one, depending on the diagnostic code and what the mechanic tells you to do.
You never want to ignore a check engine light because a simple fix can become a very costly problem if it’s allowed to progress.
The oxygen sensor is vital to the catalytic converter. If you allow the problem to continue, a $200 repair can swell to a $2,000 repair.
Your gas cap helps your automobile maintain its pressure in the fuel tank. A missing or faulty gas cap can’t do its job properly. If you choose not to replace your cap, your vehicle will suffer from:
The seals around an old gas cap have a tendency to dry out and become worn. There’s also a chance that you’ve left the gas cap somewhere and it’s no longer on your vehicle. This is an easy fix.
Replace the cap.
You’ll find most auto stores sell gas caps. You can also go to a mechanic to have them replace your gas cap, but this is a costly fix that would take you seconds to do yourself.
The bad news is that the convertor can become damaged due to:
As mentioned earlier, this is a serious repair and a very costly one. The prices really do vary from $300 – $3,000, depending on the type of vehicle you own. The average cost to repair a catalytic convertor is $1,029.
If you fail to replace your catalytic convertor, you’ll notice that your vehicle will:
A complete failure will eventually force you to completely replace your catalytic convertor. Your auto’s gas mileage will suffer dramatically.
The bad news is that this is a difficult repair, so you’ll be at the mercy of a mechanic if your catalytic convertor does fail.
If the sensor is damaged or faulty, it can cause:
You can drive around with a broken or faulty MAF for weeks without causing too much damage, but it may eventually lead to your car stalling. There’s also a high likelihood that the vehicle’s gas mileage will decrease over time.
Replacing your MAF will cost $200 – $300 at most shops, depending on the type of car that you own.
The good news is that this is a quick fix that most people can do on their own. The only downside is that if the MAF isn’t the issue, you’ll need to diagnose the issue yourself.
If your spark plugs or wires are bad, your vehicle may suffer from:
Your vehicle will likely misfire due to the bad spark plugs.
The great thing about spark plugs is that it’s rather easy to change your spark plugs yourself. A few points to keep in mind are:
Of course, spark plugs can fail and need to be replaced at any time. You should replace all of your spark plugs when one goes back – you’re working on them anyway. You’ll be able to access your spark plugs right from under the hood, and swapping out your spark plugs should take just an afternoon.
You don’t just want to start replacing random parts and components. Use a code reader before swapping out parts to make sure that you’re replacing something that actually needs to be replaced.
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