What would make the Check Engine light to go on? 5 reasons you need to be aware of

Out of the blue, your car dashboard display’s check engine light comes on. Instead of panicking and worrying about it, it is better to be prepared for it. At least, it is good to know what the light means and what you could do about it.

If the check engine light is just on without flashing, then there is still time to take your car to a professional car repair garage to diagnose the problem. But if the check engine light is blinking, then you have to just drive your car to the nearest possible car service center for some quick healing for your car.

It could be a simple fix or a major repair work as is needed when the engine misfires with a faulty spark plug. The Engine’s ECU – Engine Controlling Unit triggers the light and also the stores the “issue code”. This code can be obtained through a diagnostic tool available at all professional car repair garages. Then, it’s just about fixing the issue and you could be on your way.


But being aware of the reasons behind the ‘check engine’ light could alleviate your worries.

The most common reasons for the check engine light to be on are,

Oxygen (O2)sensor fault

The O2 sensor checks for the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust. If this issue is left unattended then it could lead to decreased fuel efficiency and therein the mileage,as more fuel gets burnt and may even damage the spark plugs and exhaust system.

There are four oxygen sensors and the ECU code will direct to the faulty one. This issue is not a DIY ‘self diagnose and repair’ sort of issue and is best advised to take the car to an expert car service center in UAE to get it checked.  If left unchecked for a prolonged time then it could be fatal for the catalytic converter.

Exhaust system issue

The catalytic converter is responsible for converting harmful hydrocarbons like carbon monoxide to less harmful ones like carbon di oxide. If the issue is with the catalytic converter then there will be harmful emissions detrimental to the vehicle and the environment. Moreover, your car will fail emission test and would need to replace the catalytic converter, which is not easy on the pockets.

Mass Airflow sensor fault

This sensor monitors the amount of air entering the engine and determines the air to fuel ratio for the right efficiency. The sensor could fail due to an improperly installed air filter or a choked up air filter, that needs immediate replacement. This can lead to car stalling, or idling can be bad and ultimately leading to bad mileage.

If the problem was only with the air filter, then its a quick fix and costs less too. But, if it came down to the sensor itself being faulty then car electronics are pricey to replace.

Spark Plug and its wires

The check engine light comes for even when the spark plug or its wires are faulty. The spark plug ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. The spark plug wires transfer the spark form the ignition coil. If your car starts with jolts in between it could be the issue with the spark plug or its wires. Again, inefficacy in spark plugs lead to faulty sensors like the O2 and mass airflow sensor, could end up damaging the catalytic converter.

Replacing the spark plug and its wires at the said km milestone is always advisable and also help to gets the check engine light off.

Check your fuel cap

Finally, the check engine light could turn on even for a simple reason as a improperly closed fuel cap too. Removing the cap and screwing it in properly might just turn off the check engine light.

All said and done, it is best not to ignore the check engine light. If ignored and the car is still driven with the light beyond the safe time, it could severely damage parts of the engine and could cost you an arm and leg to fix them.

If the check engine light is blinking or is just on, get your car to the nearest ZDegree’s car service centers in UAE across many cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain. ZDegree’s top-notch facility with advanced tech equipment will diagnose your ECU code and our expert mechanics can help troubleshoot the issue, be it car repair or part replacement, done at a reasonable price.

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