The first step is not to panic! Realize that this is your car’s way of telling you there’s a problem that might just be a loose gas cap, but could be more serious and costly. Even if your car is driving OK, the problem won’t go away and could get worse and cost more to repair. To minimize further damage to your vehicle, it is important to have the problem diagnosed ASAP!
Here are the top 5 most common “check engine” light repairs, according to CarMD’s repair database. Most of these repairs have more to do with durability problems than faulty parts. Let’s face it, drivers are holding onto their cars longer than ever before, which is why it’s so important to fix small problems before they result in more expensive repairs.
- The no. 1 most common fix is “replace Oxygen Sensor.” The O2 sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells your car’s computer when there is either too much, or not enough fuel. So what’s it mean to you? A faulty O2 sensor costs less than $200 to fix but can lead to as much as a 40% reduction in gas mileage if ignored. At the price of gas today, this can cost you more than the actual repair over time.
- The no. 2 most common repair is “replace loose, damaged or missing gas cap.” Simply tightening the cap for free or replacing it for a couple dollars is the fix, but if left unchecked can result in a 0.5% decrease in gas mileage and harm the environment.
- “Replace catalytic converter(s)” is now the no. 3 most common car repair, but it shouldn’t even be in the top 10. A catalytic converter usually won’t fail unless a related part – such as a faulty spark plug – is ignored for too long. This is a great example of why it’s so important to address small problems early. A damaged catalytic converter will cost approximately $1,000 or more to fix.
- The no. 4 most common repair is “replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor.” The MAF sensor is responsible for calculating the air coming into your car and determining how much fuel to shoot into the engine. When malfunctioning, it can lower MPG by 10 to 25%. It costs about $375 to fix, but is vital to saving dollars at the pump.
- The small but mighty spark plug is no. 5. Responsible for igniting a car’s air/fuel ratio, spark plugs are essential. When they fail, they can cause a “misfire,” reduce gas mileage, and ultimately melt/ruin your catalytic converter. Having the repair done by certified mechanic costs a couple hundred dollars, but can save you thousands.
Whatever you do, don’t lazily slap a piece of black electrical tape over it and go about your business. Cars just need a little love from time to time to stay in good shape, and neglecting a minor issue could lead to bigger problems down the road. Here are the reasons why the ‘ole black electrical tape is not the best idea: Check out this video!
I hope you found our “Check Engine” Light Is ON…So?” tips helpful! We would love to hear from you with your ideas and suggestions for future posts!
From our family to yours: be “safe on the road, and happy motoring”!
Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, Anderson, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealers!