Have you ever been driving down the road and all of a sudden your
check engine light comes on and starts dinging? If you have ever experienced
this situation, you might remember the panic that set in as you tried to figure
out what was wrong with your car and how much it would cost to fix it.
Here at Rock Solid Auto Center, we don't ever want you to
experience this situation! Continue reading to learn the three most common
reasons why your check engine light might be on and how to fix it.
1. Gas Cap
The gas cap seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure
within the fuel tank. However, if your vehicle has a loose, cracked, or faulty
gas cap, that seal is broken. The broken seal can cause fuel to evaporate,
which throws your entire exhaust system out of whack and cues the check engine
Luckily, this is one of the easiest items on this list to fix.
First, check to make sure your gas cap is on tight. If this was in fact what
triggered the warning, your check engine light should go off after you drive
for about 10 – 20 miles. If the cap is missing or cracked, you can purchase
a new one at an auto parts store for
2. Spark Plugs
Engines don’t just run on gasoline; they also need electricity!
This is where spark plugs come in. Spark plugs connect to wires that lead to
the ignition system. Electricity is created by the alternator and sent to the
plugs, which create arcs of electricity. This is what ignites the fuel in your
engine’s cylinders, creating the combustion that pushes the pistons down and
actually turns the engine.
When the plugs fail, they misfire and you’ll feel a little jolt in
the vehicle’s acceleration. The check engine light may also come on. Replacing
spark plugs is relatively cheap and easy, and will have a big impact on your
3. MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor)
The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air entering the
engine. Its reading helps determine how much fuel is needed to efficiently run
the engine. In addition to triggering the check engine light, some other signs
that your MAF sensor isn’t properly working can be:
· Decreased gas mileage
· Rough idle
· Trouble starting
· Engine stalling
Most MAF sensors fail because an air filter needs to be replaced,
or a filter wasn’t installed properly the last time it was replaced. To prevent
sensor failure and other engine related issues (like damage to spark plugs,
oxygen sensors or the catalytic converter) air filters should be changed once a
In conclusion, if your check engine light does come on, get it checked
ASAP. Don’t just ignore it. Also, you need to get it professionally checked out
to be sure the issue won't lead to further damage. Here at Rock Solid Auto
Center, we have a full-service department that always gets the job done
efficiently and correctly! To schedule an appointment, visit our website!