Why Your Check Engine Light is Coming On

September 25th, 2019 by

Your dashboard is a spot in your vehicle that draws your gaze quite frequently. Try thinking of how many times you look down to check your speed, your fuel level, whether or not you’re driving in ECO mode, or to change your song (if you drive a fancy new North Charlotte Toyota car). Most likely you won’t even begin to come up with an estimation. But, you’ll probably (vividly) remember the moment you looked down and saw a horrifying sight, your check engine light. No amount of words could ever capture the sheer panic drivers feel when their dashboard exposes its dreadfully bright yellow engine shaped light. If this has happened to you, your first instinct was likely to panic and then ask questions later. However, your check engine light can illuminate for a variety of reasons apart from actual engine failure.

At Toyota of North Charlotte, we’re here with a helpful guide to keep you calm and help you start checking for the culprit.

Check engine light guide from Toyota of N Charlotte

Why Your Check Engine Light is Turning On

While the infamous check engine light definitely inspires panic in many N Charlotte Toyota drivers, it’s often not brought on by imminent engine failure. Instead, your light may turn on for these reasons:

Loose Gas Cap

Believe it or not, your gas cap being off or loose is enough to trip your check engine sensor. While you may think this part insignificant and the check engine sensor activating a bit excessive, the truth is that this part needs to be tightly screwed on at all times. Your gas cap keeps fuel from escaping the tank and keeps the fuel system operating at the correct pressure. If your gas cap is missing or won’t fit tightly, a replacement one costs less than delivered takeout food.


Failed Oxygen Sensor

Your N Charlotte Toyota oxygen sensor is a very small component, but it plays a crucial role keeping your vehicle running properly. This part senses the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system and is critical for regulating the proper mix of air and fuel. If the sensor is defective, your check engine light will come on. You can technically still drive your vehicle, but our N Charlotte Toyota auto service advise against it. Driving with a failed sensor can result in over-burning of fuel and the eventual failure of components like spark plugs and the catalytic converter.


Spark Plug/Ignition Coil Issues

Your spark plugs and ignition coils generate electricity and create a spark that ignites your engine every time you turn your car keys. Like all other automotive parts, these can encounter wear and tear and eventually malfunction. Along with your check engine light coming on you’ll have other issues like engine misfires and failed startups if your vehicle’s spark plugs and/or ignition coils are malfunctioning.


Catalytic Converter Failure

Your exhaust system is one of the largest part collections N Charlotte Toyota cars have. The catalytic converter works in conjunction with your exhaust system to turn harmful carbon monoxide gas into less harmful carbon dioxide. If the converter becomes clogged your check engine light could illuminate.

Check Engine Light On? Visit Toyota of North Charlotte

If you’re having issues with your check engine light and can’t diagnose the exact cause, we’re here to help! Our auto service experts at Toyota of North Charlotte can accurately diagnose the issue and get you back on the road in no time. Visit us seven days a week at 13429 Statesville Road!

Posted in Toyota Service