So you’re driving down the street and all the sudden your check engine light turns on. During this moment, you fear for the worst as the repair for this unknown problem could be quite pricy! But before you start to panic, did the light turn on because the gas cap wasn’t tightened all the way? Sometimes your vehicle will throw up a fault code because something as simple as the gas cap being loose could trigger the check engine light. However, not all check engine light codes are that simple and some require immediate attention. Check out these four common check engine light issues!
1. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor
If your vehicles’ oxygen sensor is failing, the check engine light will most likely turn on. There are numerous reasons why it might be going bad like internal leaks, using fuel with higher ethanol concentrations or burning oil. When a malfunction occurs, your oxygen sensor can drop your fuel economy by 40 percent! This part is quite small in comparison to other vehicle components but dramatically affects the way your vehicle performs. With this being said, they can cost a fortune when buying them used. But, you can save money by checking out a used auto parts search for a replacement.
2. Bad Spark Plugs and Wires
The spark plugs and wires on your vehicles’ engine should be regularly replaced every few years or couple of 10000s of miles. These are typically inexpensive but they can wreak havoc on vehicle performance when they fail. You can experience declined throttle response, decreased fuel economy and engine misfiring. If those conditions persist, you could ultimately cause damage to your vehicle’s catalytic converter.
3. Failing Mass Air Flow Sensor
The mass air flow sensor is an integral component to the engine and on-board vehicle computer because it controls and measures the amount of air the engine should receive and regulates how much fuel to inject. When the mass air flow sensor malfunctions, you can expect to see a drop in fuel economy, bad performance and bucking or hesitating while in motion. This part could fit in the palm of your hand and serves a vital role when driving which makes it an expensive part to replace. Instead of purchasing a new part, consider a used auto parts finder to save money. Reconditioned mass air flow sensors can give you the fix you need and cost less than new.
4. Faulty Alternator
Every time you turn the key in the ignition to start the engine, you need more than just a good battery to fire it up. The alternator works in conjunction with the battery to deliver power to vital electrical systems throughout the car like the interior lights, heating and AC controls and the instrument panel. It helps regulate the electricity you need to properly operate a vehicle and if your alternator is faulty, you could risk your safety. If your alternator fails while you are driving, you’ll notice that the radio will cut out, the interior lights will dim and it’ll start to become increasingly difficult to drive. Essentially, all power is lost and things like power brakes and power steering will no longer function correctly. Replace your alternator immediately by finding one through a used car parts search to save money. New ones are expensive and a used one can save you big time! Make sure you buy a used alternator with a warranty so you can rely on the replacement.