Why Your Check Engine Light Just Went On

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We'll help you break down the five most common reasons for a check engine light.
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So you’re about to move. Everything is ready, packed, catalogued, and secure. All you need to do is drive off to your new place. The only thing is, your check engine light just went on. The dreaded icon may be the most sinister icon of our lives. Does it mean your car is about to break down? Is this going to cost you thousands of dollars? How long will it take to fix it? This little red light doesn’t tell you anything. All it says is that you’re about to have a bad day.

However, the check engine light isn’t your enemy; it’s your friend. The kind of friend who tells you that you have food on your face, or that it looks like your barber used a weedwhacker on your new haircut. We’ll help you break down the five most common reasons for a check engine light so you can understand your new friend a little better.

Loose Fuel Caps turn on Check Engine Lights

This one is something that drives many people up the walls. Especially if you don’t know about it. A loose fuel cap can, in fact, turn your check engine light on. Many people have gone all the way to the mechanic, spent money on an appraisal, only to find that they could easily just tighten their gas cap and avoid any issues.

When the check engine light goes on, the first thing to do is tighten your gas cap. A simple twist could save the day and save your time and wallet.

Faulty Battery

Your check engine light can either stay on or start blinking. If it’s blinking, it could be worse than if it’s a steady light. A blinking engine light could mean your battery is on its last leg. If you recently jump-started your car, this could mean it’s time for a new battery. Luckily, batteries are easy to replace and can often be done on your own. They range in price, often around a hundred bucks, but could reach up to two hundred for a premium battery. Depending on your car, it could be cheaper than a tank of gas.

Go ahead and pop the hood and check your battery. Do you notice any odors like sulfur around your battery? Is there a gunky discharge surrounding the metal on your battery? If so, it’s time for a new battery.

Air-Based Issues

Some say that cars are living and breathing, and like all things that breathe, your car needs air. Airflow is critical to your car’s performance. Onboard oxygen sensors, vacuum systems, and mass airflow monitors could all be considered the lungs of your car. Your car’s check engine light could go on if any of those has a problem. If your car has poor regulation and improper mixing of fuel and air in the cylinders, you could experience excessive fuel consumption, higher emissions, or excessive engine noise. You may be spending more money at the gas pump or had to pay more for a smog check, it could be an air-based issue.

If you’re spending more on day-to-day driving, then getting this issue fixed will actually save you money in the long run. It’s best to get this fixed up as soon as possible. Especially if you have a registration renewal coming up that requires a smog check.

Catalytic Converter

If you smell sulfur and you also notice that your car is getting terrible gas mileage, the problem may be your catalytic converter. This is no small problem, and unfortunately, the price of catalytic converters is at an all-time high.

The best thing to do is to get regular oil changes and avoid any rough roads or driving too quickly over speed bumps. This can extend the life of your catalytic converter to help you avoid this problem in the future.

How Car Shipping can Alleviate the stress of a Check Engine Light

A check engine light is never good. Especially if it goes on right before a trip. You may want to cancel everything and take your car into the shop. But don’t let a check engine light ruin your day. If you’re moving or going on a road trip, you can have your car shipped to your destination. Let the mechanic work on your car while you’re poolside or moving boxes into your new place. Then you can pick up your working car with no stress or hassle. Car shipping saves miles on your car and can even ship your car if it’s not running. If you’re looking for a quality auto shipping service, call AMPM Auto Transport today for an instant quote. They offer door-to-door service, which means they can pick up and drop off at any address in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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