Almost all modern vehicles today have a smart dashboard that will display an illuminated warning light for when something has gone wrong in the vehicle. These can be as simple as low gas or a burned out headlamp, or as complex as an engine failure.
But before you totally panic, you should understand what the check engine lights can mean. If it's a burned out headlamp, you can wait until after work to have it fixed, while a transmission failure should be dealt with immediately. Here are a few of the most common causes for a check engine light.
The Oxygen Sensor Needs Replacing
This sensor is what's responsible for monitoring unburned oxygen from the exhaust. It helps to monitor how much fuel is burned. If the sensor is faulty then it can result in a decrease in gas mileage. Most vehicles have 2-4 sensors so your technician can use the scanner to figure out which one it is.
Possibly a Loose or Faulty Gas Cap
This is one of the most common issues, but it's simply enough to fix. The cap can become loose or cracked over time. This is because fuel vapors leak out, which will throw off your fuel system's Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) efficiency. This can also increase gas emissions. This light will point to the gas cap, or other EVAP system components, so you should have it checked out.
Catalytic Converter Failure
The catalytic converter is what is needed to reduce exhaust emissions. It will convert carbon monoxide and other harmful substances into harmless compounds that won't impact the environment. Some common signs of its failure include a decrease in gas mileage, or a failure for your car to move faster when you hit the gas. Often a failure can be related to other items on the list, such as worn spark plugs or a bad oxygen sensor.
If you have an illuminated check engine light in Cedar Park, TX but don't know what it is, then book an appointment with Austin's Automotive Specialists. They can use their scanners to source the issue and fix or replace any problems in your vehicle.