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Why has my Engine light come on?

Has your engine light suddenly turned on? Depending on the colour, you may have to take action immediately. A red light indicates a serious problem; you should stop right away and seek assistance. If the light is yellow, you should make your way steadily to a garage where you can enquire about the problem with a professional. There isn’t a way to instantly tell what has caused this to happen - the top 5 reasons for your engine light to come on are below: 

1. Your petrol cap isn’t fixed on properly

First and foremost, check your petrol cap is screwed on tight and correctly. If it isn’t, your car’s computer will interpret a more serious issue as it will detect there is incorrect pressure within the petrol tank. Fuel vapor leaking from inside will ultimately overthrow your whole vehicle system; initially, the problems will result in a reduction of mileage and increased emissions. 

As this is such a common problem (and one so easy to fix) is suggested this is the first thing you check the car over for when you pull over. If you see that the cap is on tight and correct, check it over for cracks. If you notice the cause of the engine light and feel as though the cap is in need of replacing, luckily they are quick and easy to fit and are inexpensive in comparison to what could have been! A pristine fuel cap will improve the mileage of your vehicle, increasing car efficiency, and reduce harmful emissions.

2. You have worn spark plugs

Spark plugs play one of the most vital roles in the ignition of your vehicle - therefore it is more than important that they are working safely and efficiently. Spark plugs work to seal the combustion chamber, providing a gap for the spark to move across - ultimately initiating combustion within your engine. Spark plugs will cause a misfire if they are failing - this will be felt like a jolt when the car is accelerating. 

Fortunately, the replacement of spark plugs is an easy and inexpensive process of which will improve the vehicle’s entire efficiency. The vital nature of this working component means it would be best to know they have been fitted correctly. Although the easy access through the hood of the car makes it an easy enough task to complete yourself; seeking a professional will guarantee they have been replaced correctly. 

3. Your Mass airflow sensors are at fault

A fault with your mass airflow sensors means that the vehicle will not be able to correctly read how much fuel to add based on the volume of air passing through the engine. Issues with this component frequently result in the vehicle stalling. Further consequences of a failing airflow sensor include decreased mileage and increased emissions - therefore it is important they are correctly cared for. 

Common causes of faults with airflow sensors are incorrect installation or negligence to replace them adequately. It is recommended that they are changed once a year as part of vehicle maintenance/servicing. It is best to seek a professional when it comes time to replace your sensors; an experienced mechanic will ensure they are fitted correctly and in a way that no further issues will arise. Enquire with us today, our experience with MOT’s, Solihull means we would be happy to help. 

4. A problem with your Catalytic Converter

Issues with Catalytic converters are often of negligent or poor vehicle maintenance. Additionally, they can come as a consequence of having broken oxygen sensors or deteriorated spark plugs. Should your catalytic converter fail, carbon monoxide will not be able to be converted into a less harmful emission. An inability to increase in speed and a decrease in fuel efficiency are both strong indicators that your vehicle is suffering from this problem. 

Continuing to operate a vehicle with a damaged Catalytic Converter can have serious consequences; a car will not be able to run for much longer after such problems become present. As replacing converters is a detailed and expensive procedure, the help of a professional mechanic is always advised. 

5. Your Oxygen sensor is faulty 

There are frequently between two to four oxygen sensors fitted to a vehicle - their job is to monitor the quantity of unburned oxygen leaving the vehicle via the exhaust. The amount of fuel being burned will impact a car’s emissions, mileage, and overall efficiency. The sensor scanner will have a code of which will indicate which sensor is in need of replacing, should you find yourself with such problems. 

Oil ash builds up on the sensors over time and will soon impact the ability of the sensor to change the fuel and oxygen mixture. If you detect this is the problem, you should seek to fix it quickly as neglecting to do so can result in a broken catalytic converter - a much more costly problem to fix. The owner’s handbook will detail how to unclip and reattach a replacement sensor; it is a relatively straight forward task.

Although these are the 5 most common causes of an engine light turning on, there are an array of other components of which could be the cause. Beginning with the above checks is a good place to start - should you require any help or further advice, we are here to help. Enquire with us today! MotorServ UK are experienced with all forms of repairs and servicing for all makes and models, and we carry out a lot of MOT's every month for Solihull and Birmingham customers, so we are fully equipped and experienced to help."