The check engine light is one of the most dreaded warning lights on the car’s instrument cluster. The orange or yellow (depending on model) illumination indicates that something in your vehicle is malfunctioning or has failed. Whenever the check engine light comes on, motorists are advised to troubleshoot the problem to avoid escalating the situation.
What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?
When the check engine light comes on, there could be one problem or more. Below are most of the common factors that can cause the check engine light to come on:
- 1. Loose or faulty petrol cap: When the petrol cap is loose or defective, it will lead to vapour leaks and cause the check engine light to come on.
- 2. Bad battery: Some car models are very sensitive. When the battery is disconnected and connected again, or the terminals are not tight enough, the warning can come up.
- 3. Exhaust valve failure: When the EGR system clogs up or fails entirely, it will trigger the check engine light.
- 4. Bad spark plugs: Worn out plugs, and faulty plug wire cables are common causes.
- 5. Vacuum leak: When there is a vacuum leak in the vehicle’s system, the warning light will come on.
- 6. Sensor failures: When the crankshaft position sensor, camshaft sensor, or any other sensor fails, the check engine light will come on.
- 7. Aftermarket accessories: Installing aftermarket accessories, for example, car alarms might cause the light to come on.
Diagnosing the Check Engine Light
In some cases, the problem can be identified, and once solved, the light goes off. But then, it’s best if the motorist opts for computer diagnosis. The advantage of the scanners and other equipment used is that they show what is causing the light to come on, with pinpoint accuracy.