Troubleshooting Check Engine Light Alerts

Troubleshooting Check Engine Light Alerts

Let’s take a look at a few simple tricks that can solve many check engine light issues and get you back on the road. 

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

The first thing on every car-owners mind when they see the check engine light illuminate their dashboard. The answer to your vehicle’s trouble may be a simple one. To help you figure out what’s causing your check engine light to come on, we’ve created two DIY Checklists. The first is basic and simple, and we hope your issue falls within these four points. The second is slightly more complicated but may still be possible for you to fix on your own.

Check Engine Light Services at Global Automotive in Bealeton, VA

Basic First Check Engine Light Checklist

  • Test to see if gas cap is loose.
  • Examine your oil dipstick.
  • Check your vehicle's antifreeze.
  • Check all other fluids.
  • Examine spark plugs & battery.

After checking these off your list, restart your vehicle and see if your check engine light comes on again.

Is your check engine light still on? Let’s troubleshoot other semi-simple issues. First, is your vehicle driving or acting differently? Take a look at other common check engine light issues that you may be able to diagnose and repair yourself.

Check Engine Light: When to Replace a Vehicle Oxygen Sensor - Global Automotive in Bealeton VA

Slightly less simple DIY Check Engine Light Checklist

A faulty oxygen sensor can cause a decrease in gas mileage, a rough idle and possible misfiring. Oxygen sensor monitors unburned oxygen from the exhaust system, which tells the vehicle how much fuel is burned. Most vehicles have two to four of these sensors. You can replace just the bad one, however, we recommend they be replaced in pairs. This service generally costs between $150-$400 at a shop. Do Not Ignore This Issue- it can damage your catalytic converter- which can cost upwards of $2,000 to replace.

If your mass airflow sensor isn’t working properly, you’ll notice your car stalling more and more and a decrease in gas mileage. You may also notice poor idling (engine vibrations), an engine surge when idling, and/or engine hesitation at acceleration.   

The mass airflow sensor tells the car’s computer to add the proper amount of fuel based on the air coming through to the engine. Most Mass Airflow Sensors fail because of the lack of a proper air filtration  Make sure to replace your air filter at least once a year to prevent this.

Replacing the Mass Airflow Sensor usually costs around $200-$300 at a reputable shop- most of this cost is the actual parts, as the labor is relatively simple. You should have a diagnostic ran before replacing this part, as you may spend $100-$200 on the part itself, and it may not repair your check engine light issue. If the diagnostic trouble code points to replacing the Mass Airflow Sensor, the repair may be something you can do on your own, see your owners manual to get specifics about your vehicle’s mass air flow sensors location and type.

When spark plugs are failing, they misfire and cause you to feel a jolt in your car’s acceleration. Replacing spark plugs and wires is part of regular maintenance. Global Automotive recommends every car owner check their car’s manual to find the recommended milage to service or replace spark plugs, wires and coil packs. This will keep your vehicle running at it’s peak performance and best fuel milage. 

Above all, regular maintenance will help lesson the annoying and concerning check engine light coming on. If you are searching for a reputable mechanic in the Fauquier County area, Global Automotive provides exact diagnostics testing & reliable repairs to fit your budget. We’ve been Bealeton’s trusted Auto repair shop for over 25 years. Call to schedule your appointment at (540) 439-9090 .

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