Myrtle Beach, Is Your ‘Check Engine’ Light On?

Your Check Engine Light (CEL), part of your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system, warns you that your vehicles computer found a malfunction that it cannot adjust to. It is estimated that about 10% of all cars on the road have the Check Engine Light on, and that half of that 10% will be ignored for 3 months or more! Most drivers that ignore the Check Engine Light do so to avoid a high repair bill but, there’s a chance that not getting your car fixed will cause more expensive problems in the long run. Here are the most common causes for your cars CEL to come on:

1. Oxygen Sensor
This sensor measures air-to-fuel ratio of your engine. Sensors may begin to fail and report to your vehicle that it needs more or less fuel than is accurate. Although O2 sensors will fail at some point, premature failure may be due to neglected maintenance, like missed oi changes.
2. Catalytic Converter
This helps turn toxic gases and pollutants into more environmentally friendly substances. Premature failure can be the result of O2 sensor failure or bad spark plug. A bad catalytic converter can cause your car’s engine to misfire and eventually cause permanent damage. Typically, if this is on the verge of happening, the CEL will be blinking.
3. Ignition Coils
Ignition Coils help your cars battery to ignite the spark plugs. Faulty spark plugs and high under hood temps can contribute to ignition coil failure. If not replaced, it can lead to decreased fuel economy and damage to catalytic converters.
4. Loose Gas Cap
Perhaps the easiest fix on the list would be a loose gas cap. It is estimated that 147 million gallons of fuel evaporates in the air every year because of unchecked damaged or missing gas caps.
5. Thermostat
If your cars thermostat fails and the vehicles computer doesn’t see the engine coolant temperature rise to “operating temperature” within a fixed amount of time, the CEL will come on. Changing your coolant at recommended intervals can help extend the life of your cars thermostat.

For Check Engine Lights, C&G Auto uses an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer to retrieve Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). This helps us determine what the actual problem is. Don’t ignore your CEL! Bring it to the expert mechanics at C&G Auto and Truck, today!