When the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on in your car, it can be a cause for concern. There are many potential reasons why the CEL may be turning on, ranging from minor issues to serious problems that require immediate attention. Here are some of the most common reasons why the CEL may be turning on:
Loose or damaged gas cap: If your gas cap isn't tightened enough or is damaged, it can cause your car's emissions system to malfunction, which may trigger the CEL.
Faulty oxygen sensor: The oxygen sensor measures the amount of oxygen in your car's exhaust and helps regulate the air-fuel mixture. A faulty oxygen sensor can cause your car to run inefficiently and trigger the CEL.
Malfunctioning catalytic converter: The catalytic converter is responsible for converting harmful exhaust gases into less harmful ones. If it's malfunctioning, it can cause the CEL to turn on.
Bad spark plugs or wires: The spark plugs and wires are responsible for igniting the fuel in your car's engine. If they're worn or damaged, it can cause misfires and trigger the CEL.
Faulty mass airflow sensor: The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine and helps regulate the air-fuel mixture. A faulty sensor can cause your car to run poorly and trigger the CEL.
Failing battery or alternator: If your car's battery or alternator is failing, it can cause electrical issues that may trigger the CEL.
Broken vacuum hose: The vacuum hose helps regulate the air-fuel mixture and other engine functions. If it's broken or leaking, it can cause the CEL to turn on.
Issues with the ignition system: Problems with the ignition system, such as a faulty ignition coil or distributor cap, can cause misfires and trigger the CEL.
Low oil pressure: If your car's oil pressure is too low, it can cause engine damage and trigger the CEL.
Faulty sensors or computer: Modern cars have many sensors and a computer that help regulate engine functions. If one of these components is faulty, it can cause the CEL to turn on.
If your CEL is turning on, it's important to have your car inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible to diagnose and address the underlying issue. Ignoring the CEL can lead to more serious problems down the line and may even damage your car's engine.