You’re driving down the road and as you stop at a stoplight, the dreaded “check engine” light pops on. You get that sinking feeling in your stomach and you cringe at the potential repair costs.
Here are the five most common causes of the “check engine light” and what you can expect to pay to fix the problem, including parts and labor:
1. Loose or missing gas cap
This is by far the most common cause of the dreaded “check engine light” – and since it only costs a few dollars to replace a gas cap, it’s also the cheapest to fix.
2. Faulty oxygen sensor
The car’s computer uses the oxygen sensor to measure the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust (and it also measures the amount of gas in the tank). If it’s not working properly, your gas mileage will drop because the car’s computer is getting incorrect information. It’s on the cheaper end of the repair spectrum, costing less than $200 to fix.
3. Misfiring spark plugs
Your spark plugs ignite your fuel inside the engine. If they’re misfiring, your fuel economy will drop and you’ll lose engine power – you could also potentially damage your catalytic converter. If you replace the spark plugs yourself, you’ll be out around $10. If you pay for a mechanic to do it for you, it will cost you around $300.
4. Malfunctioning mass air flow sensor
This sensor monitors the amount of air that the engine gets, which determines how much fuel is delivered. If it’s not working properly, you’ll notice less engine power, surges during acceleration, and a decrease in gas mileage. Repairing the mass air flow sensor will cost around $375.
5. Broken catalytic converter
Your catalytic converter is the part of your exhaust system that converts the harmful gases caused by engine combustion into less harmful emissions. According to CarMD, catalytic converters generally don’t fail unless a related part (like your spark plugs) fails – so it’s important to stay on top of your maintenance schedule. Replacing your catalytic converter will cost up to $2,000, so it’s worth taking the time to prevent.
The most important take-away from this article is to ALWAYS check your gas cap whenever your engine light comes on. Most of the time, the light comes on because your gas cap isn’t tight, and you can save an embarrassing trip to the mechanic with a twist and a few clicks. If you’ve got an older car and you find yourself spending more and more to keep it running, come see us at Hallum Motors. We’ve got the most affordable used cars in the Memphis area, and we go the extra mile to make sure that all of our customers are served with the highest level of customer service possible. Call us today at 870-739-4944 or drop by and see us – we’ll help you find your next dream ride!
Come to Tito’s Transmission Shop in NJ for a Free Diagnostic on your ‘Check Engine’ Light.
Auto Repair Links:
Transmission Repair Service in Newark NJ visit: TransmissionShopNJ.com
Car Washes in Elizabeth NJ visit: SuperShineWash.com
Auto Repair in Glean Oaks NY visit: AutoRepairGlenOaks.com
Used Tires in Elizabeth NJ visit: Magnolia Tire Service
Furnace Repair in NJ visit: ComfortSpecialistsLLC.com
Oil Tank Removal in South Plainfield NJ visit: OilTankExperts.com
Environmental clean up NJ visit: HazmatSpillResponse.com