check engine lightThe check engine light is one of the most misunderstood indicators on your dashboard. It can indicate anything from a loose gas cap to a serious engine problem. If your engine light is blinking, you should get your vehicle diagnosed immediately, as this could be an indication of a serious misfiring engine. Call Dixie Auto Pro at (905) 454-0030 to get a checkup. If the light is on but not blinking then simply bring your vehicle in to be diagnosed as soon as possible.

Two things that you can check before you bring the vehicle into the garage are:

Loose Gas Cap

Is your gas cap loose, faulty or broken? Loose gas caps are one of the most common reasons check engine lights turn on. The cap prevents gasoline fumes from escaping a fuel tank and helps keep the whole system at the correct pressure level. Gas vapor can leak into the fueling system which will turn on the check engine light.

Low Oil

When was the last time that you had an oil change? Changing your oil is one of the best preventative measures against engine problems. Be sure to have a regular oil change schedule.

If you made the two quick checks above and your check engine light is still on, it could be for a number of reasons. There are hundreds of codes that could cause the check engine light to turn on such as:

Bad Ignition Coil/Spark Plug

An ignition coil creates the electricity that spark plugs need to ignite fuel in the cylinders. A malfunctioning coil will trigger your check engine light. Damaged or worn out spark plugs can cause a number of issues including engine misfires. Damaged or worn out coils can cause your vehicle to shut off altogether.

Vacuum Leak

Every car is equipped with a vacuum system that performs a number of functions.
Vacuum hoses will crack as they age, more so if they are exposed to extreme heat or cold. Leaks can also arise from cracked fittings and loose connections.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve Failure

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system is important because it decreases the amount of nitrogen oxide that comes out of a car and helps the engine run efficiently. It also directs hot exhaust into the engine’s combustion chambers, which warms up fuel and makes it easier to burn. EGRs also help reduce emissions for you eco-friendly folks out there. Over time, EGR valves can get clogged and fail entirely.

Some other codes include:

System running too lean – which means that there is too much oxygen in the exhaust
System running too rich – the oxygen sensor detected too high fuel to oxygen ratio
Cylinder misfiring: this is a random misfiring in your engine.
Catalyst system efficiency below threshold
Knock sensor circuit malfunction – the vehicle’s computer is readjusting the engine so that it does not cause a dangerous ignition
Problem with MAF (Mass Air Flow)
Thermostat/temperature sensing issues