Is your ‘check engine’ light on? Here are 10 possible reasons why - PART 2
Your car can’t talk, but it knows how to communicate to tell you something is wrong. The orange, engine-shaped icon that flashes in the instrument cluster is its way of letting you know it needs attention. Don’t ignore it, and don’t worry if you see it. The list of problems that can trigger the check engine light is long, and seeing it isn’t a guarantee that you’ll need to pay a four-figure repair bill to keep your car on the road. Sometimes, the fix is cheap and simple.
Here are the 10 most common problems that can trigger a check engine light. Keep in mind the fault code that caused the light to turn on in the first place is stored in your car’s onboard computer, and you can retrieve it using the DebugMyCar™ device linked to an app to get a precise idea of what exactly is wrong under the hood.
Mass airflow sensor failure
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 a MAF problem.
Issues with an aftermarket alarm
An aftermarket alarm can wreak havoc on your car if it’s not installed properly. It can drain the battery, trigger the check engine light, or even prevent the vehicle from starting. Then, when you least expect it, it’ll go off in the middle of the night because a leaf from an oak tree fell on the hood.
Every car has a vacuum system that performs a wide variety of functions. The brake booster is vacuum-operated, and the vacuum system also helps lower harmful emissions by routing the fumes as gasoline evaporates through the engine. If your car’s idle begins to surge or settles at an unusually high rpm, a vacuum leak could be the culprit.
Exhaust gas recirculation valve failure
The battery is as simple as it is important; without it, your car won’t start, light up the road ahead, or charge your phone. Today’s batteries last much longer than before, and they’re maintenance-free. The price of a new one depends on the type of car you drive, but plan on spending at least $100 for a quality battery.