An ominous, yellow check engine light on the dashboard is never a good sign. Usually, when a warning light comes on, you’ll want to get to the mechanic right away to figure out what’s going on but, on occasion, this light can be fixed with a simple walk around your car.
Here are a few things to check before giving us a call:
1. Your gas cap is loose.
If you’re just pulling away from the gas station and suddenly notice the check engine light, it is probably just an alert from your car that you forgot to close the cap. Find a safe spot to park your car, and check to make sure that both the gas cap and door are tightly closed. If that doesn't do the trick, you should call your mechanic right away.
2. You have a faulty sensor.
Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on different parts of your car, including sensors. The build-up can interfere with the sensor transmissions, sending a check-engine alert to your car’s computer.
Some sensors are especially vulnerable like your oxygen sensor, which monitors your gas mileage and emissions, or your airflow sensor, which tracks how much air is passing through the engine. Luckily, our certified technicians can run a quick test to gather the error code, allowing them to quickly identify and replace the sensors.
3. Your spark plugs have worn out.
Spark plugs are designed to trigger combustion in the engine-- they ignite a mixture of air and fuel, creating a small explosion that produces power for our engine. When these plugs wear out or fail, you might experience misfires or jolts when accelerating which, in turn, triggers the check engine light.
Thankfully, spark plugs are easily replaceable and should be checked frequently by your technician. If your check engine light comes on, it’s always a good idea to give these a look before calling your mechanic.
4. It might just be too humid.
Occasionally, the check engine light can be triggered by environmental factors, like changes in humidity or extreme temperatures. If the light comes on briefly and goes away after an extreme change in weather, it’s probably nothing to worry about. But if it stays on for an extended period or becomes amber, you should make a service appointment right away.
At V&F, we strive to provide our customers a well-rounded knowledge of all things automotive. Since 1988, our family-owned and operated service center has been providing top-quality auto repair services to Agawam, Feeding Hills, Southwick, West Springfield, and the surrounding Massachusetts communities. If your check engine light comes on and doesn't go away, it's important to get your car inspected as soon as possible. Call us at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.