Common Car Problems that Trigger the Check Engine Light

Common Car Problems that Trigger the Check Engine LightFor many car owners the check engine light is a sign that their car is headed for the junkyard, but this simply isn't the case. Most check engine light issues start out relatively small and if serviced quickly, the vehicle will be quite inexpensive to repair. However, should you delay having the problem checked out the issue is going to grow worse, and much more costly, as demonstrated by this first common check engine light problem.

Failed Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is designed to convert the hazardous exhaust fumes into less harmful emissions. This is an expensive part that contains costly metals, but in most cases it won't fail unless another issue came first, such as a bad oxygen sensor or failed MAF sensor, as described below. This is a prime example why it's important to visit the auto shop as soon as the check engine light comes on.

Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor is located in the exhaust system and detects oxygen in the emissions to help determine the correct air/fuel mix. A faulty oxygen sensor could result in excessive fuel burn, causing increased emissions, which can result in a massive decrease in fuel economy and damage to the catalytic converter.

Bad MAF Sensor

Similar to the oxygen sensor the mass air flow (MAF) sensor measures incoming air to calculate how much should be added to the fuel/air mix. A failed MAF sensor can also increase fuel use and decrease fuel economy and cause issues for the catalytic converter.


Misfiring is the term given to an engine that is not properly igniting the air and fuel mix inside the combustion chamber. This can be caused by faulty ignition coils, corroded spark plugs or other issues. Aside from the light turning on you'll likely notice that your car or truck is running very poorly.

Loose Gas Cap

The best thing you can hope for if your vehicle's check engine light is on is that you've forgotten to tighten the gas cap. A cracked, loose or otherwise broken cap can allow fuel vapors to escape out of the filler hose, resulting in the triggering of the check engine light.

It's important that you visit the auto repair shop as soon as the light comes on to prevent the issue from growing more expensive. For expert check engine light repair in Las Cruces head to Auto Doctors. Our team uses the latest diagnostic and auto repair equipment to ensure fast and accurate repairs. Give us a call at (575) 526-2741 to request an appointment for superior auto repair in Las Cruces today.

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