Five reasons your check engine light may be on – and one requires an easy and free fix

CHECK engine lights can easily cause anxiety – but if you brush up on your check engine light knowledge, you can respond like a pro.

It’s important to understand that a flashing check engine light is more serious than one that’s on constantly.

Check engine lights are less intense when they are on continuously


Check engine lights are less intense when they are on continuouslyPhoto credit: Getty

Drivers confronted with a flashing check engine light can protect themselves and those around them by pulling into a secure parking area and towing their vehicle.

You may have a loose fuel cap if your check engine light isn’t flashing.

Your first reaction to a check engine light should include checking your gas gap for damage or leaks due to an improper seal.

Faulty oxygen sensors are one of the most common reasons a check engine light comes on.

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Car oxygen sensors can become covered in contamination as a driver registers more miles, making them unable to evaluate your fuel system and engine oxygen levels.

A car’s catalytic converter reduces emissions by converting hazardous gases into environmentally friendly compounds.

While most catalytic converters last the lifetime of a car, this component can trigger a check engine light if it fails.

Signs of a defective catalytic converter are:

One check engine light trigger that some drivers may overlook is a faulty mass air flow sensor.

Your car needs a working mass air flow sensor to get the right level of fuel into your vehicle’s engine.

If an air filter is not replaced, this mass air flow meter can break and give incorrect information.

Incorrect air mass readings can lead to:

Check the engine light on the dashboard


Check the engine light on the dashboardPhoto credit: Getty

Spark plugs help power your engine.

But bad spark plugs will of course trigger your check engine light.

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Auto repair shops or dealership service centers can run diagnostic tests on your car to get to the root of the problem with engine testing.

This diagnosis is usually free of charge. Five reasons your check engine light may be on – and one requires an easy and free fix

Chris Barrese

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