Why Is My Check Engine Light On?


Consider this: You enter your vehicle and start up the engine, ready to head out on the road to get to work. You glance at the dashboard and see what every driver dreads: the check engine light. What makes the check engine light so menacing is that the problem could be caused by a number of issues, and the average person cannot figure it out simply by lifting up the hood. The experts at Jim Hudson Auto Group have compiled a list of some of the most common check engine light-related problems to make Columbia, SC area drivers more aware of what might be going on in their vehicle’s engine.

Faulty or broken oxygen sensor. Oxygen sensor replacement is one of the most common car repairs. If the sensor detects an internal engine leak, the oxygen sensors set off your check engine light. These kinds of issues affect performance and decrease fuel efficiency.

Loosened fuel cap. If you don’t tighten your fuel cap properly, gas will slowly evaporate, and your check engine light will appear. The easiest thing you can act upon should your check engine light come on is to simply tighten the gas cap.

Spark plug wear. If you’ve never changed your spark plugs, or if it’s been quite some time since you’ve done so, worn out parts could trigger the check engine light. Check your owner’s manual to see when you need to replace the spark plugs.

Catalytic converter failure. Another reason spark plug replacement is so important? It can cause catalytic converter failure. A busted catalytic converter will not only cause terrible gas mileage, but it’ll also put a huge dent in your bank account. If you notice your vehicle is getting poor fuel economy and your check engine light is on, get your vehicle inspected as soon as possible.

Ignition coil wear. Worn-out ignition coils are also culprits of the dreaded check engine light. Ignition coils generally wear out with age, but you should replace them if need be because aged ignition coils can also lead to catalytic converter failure.

Thermostat failure. An important component in regulating the engine’s temperature, the thermostat opens and closes to regulate the flow of coolant. To avoid an overheated engine and the annoying little check engine light on your dashboard, regularly check your vehicle’s coolant levels.

Fuel injector issues. A clogged-up fuel injection system is no good for the engine’s well being. Skip an unnecessary trip to the auto repair shop and get your fuel injection system cleaned at the manufacturer’s suggested mileage interval.

If your check engine light starts flashing, we highly recommend that you bring it to one of our dealership’s auto service centers. Our specially trained technicians will quickly figure out the issue and offer a plan of action to fix it. You can get in touch with a Jim Hudson Automotive Group representative by phone at (803) 704-6420 or through our online contact us section for more information on our auto service centers.