The dash indicator goes on and you wonder what happens if you ignore the check engine light. At Mountain View Automotive in Northglenn, we know it’s very important to bring your vehicle in. A check engine light means your car has a problem that could affect your car’s emissions systems – and if you don’t fix the initial issue, it could snowball into something bigger, more complex and even more costly.
The check engine lamp on your dashboard will light up and either blink or remain constant, which will help us determine the problem. If the check engine light remains constant, the vehicle’s problem is not an emergency but you should get your car in soon.
However, when the check engine light is blinking that means there could be a severe engine misfire and that may cause unburned fuel to be dumped into the exhaust system. If that is the case, it can raise the temperature of the catalytic converter and cause damage. When that happens, it may need expensive repairs. We recommend reducing the engine’s power and getting your vehicle checked as soon as possible when you see a blinking check engine light.
Even though the check engine light is on, you might not even notice a change in your vehicle’s performance because the car’s computer will compensate for the problem even though your mileage is reduced and your car is emitting a high level of hydrocarbons.
Here are problems your car may be experiencing when the check engine light comes on:
Wiring Harness and Spark Plugs
If these aren’t working, the fuel will not be burning efficiently in the engine and will lead to poor gas mileage and reduced engine performance. Problems with wiring harness and spark plugs can also cause problems with the catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, and ignition coils.
The sensors measure the oxygen emerging from the combustion chambers into the exhaust. This will reduce your gas mileage. If there is unburned oxygen that means unburned fuel. The oxygen sensors need to be fixed or it could cause damage to the catalytic converter.
Loose Gas Cap
Try tightening your gas cap. Sometimes this alone will fix the problem. You may need to get a new gas cap because the seal may no longer be good. If that’s the case, fuel will be evaporating and fuel line pressure will not be properly maintained.
Mass Air Flow Sensor
The sensor measures the air coming through the air intake system and sets the ideal fuel-air mix for the engine. If this sensor isn’t working it can create faulty fuel mix ratios will cause economy and performance to suffer. This can lead to damage to the ignition parts, oxygen sensors, and the catalytic converter.
If it’s your catalytic converter it may indicate other problems as well. This one is not a cheap fix, but you don’t want to wait and see what happens if you ignore the check engine light.
Some people confuse the maintenance service light with the check engine light but the maintenance service light illuminates when routine service is needed. Although this is important, it doesn’t need immediate attention like a check engine light. What happens if you ignore the check engine light? Damage to your vehicle and costly repairs. Bring your vehicle into Mountain View Automotive in Northglenn and we will find out what’s wrong and fix it.