If your car’s check engine light (CEL) comes on while you’re driving, there’s no need to panic. This safety system is alerting you to a problem. In most cases, it isn’t serious. We’ll examine some problems that can cause the check engine light to come on and explain what to do if it happens. Fortunately for drivers in Flagstaff, check engine light service is available at the Flagstaff Chevrolet Service Center.
The check engine light isn’t usually a sign of an emergency. But there are instances where the check engine light is a warning of a serious problem. The experts at the Flagstaff Chevrolet Service Center are here to help when you need CEL testing & diagnosis near Meridian.
When your car’s check engine light illuminates, it will either be steady or flashing.
Flashing Check Engine Light
A flashing check engine light is letting you know there’s a serious issue that needs to be taken care of immediately. A misfiring engine ignition system is a common cause of a flashing check engine light. This is a condition that causes unburned fuel to be dumped into the car’s exhaust system. If this is ignored, it will damage the catalytic converter. When you see a flashing check engine light, the best course of action is to pull over, turn off the vehicle, and call for roadside assistance.
Steady Check Engine Light
A steady check engine light is alerting you to a problem that needs your attention. It’s not an emergency, so you can keep driving until you can bring the vehicle for service.
These are some common reasons for a steady check engine light:
Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor
Your car contains a mass airflow sensor that measures the engine’s air inflow and adjusts the quantity of fuel necessary to keep the engine functioning correctly. When the mass airflow sensor breaks, it can damage the catalytic converter, the oxygen sensor and the spark plugs. You’ll experience a drop in performance and fuel economy.
Damaged Oxygen Sensor
Your car’s oxygen (O2) sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. If this part fails, the engine will burn more gasoline than it should, resulting in a fuel economy loss. Left unrepaired, a faulty O2 sensor can damage the catalytic converter and spark plugs.
Broken Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter transforms harmful compounds in the exhaust into inert gases. This prevents passengers from exposure to lethal compounds and helps protect the environment. A damaged catalytic converter will cause decreased performance, dark exhaust smoke, and a characteristic sulfur smell. If the catalytic converter isn’t replaced, the vehicle will more than likely fail an emissions test.
Bad Spark Plugs
If your vehicle’s spark plugs need to be replaced, it can damage the catalytic converter and the O2 sensor. You’ll experience a hit in performance and fuel economy.
Missing, Broken or Loose Gas Cap:
Your car’s gas cap prevents the release of gasoline fumes. If the gas evaporates, your vehicle will see a loss of fuel economy. Tighten a loose gas cap. If the cap is broken or missing, replace it.
If your car’s check engine light comes on, contact the Flagstaff Chevrolet Service Center to make a service appointment. Our certified service technicians will diagnose the problem and fix it quickly to get your car back on the road.