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Will it Damage my Engine if I Continue to Drive my Car with the Check Engine Light On?

Nothing is more nerve wracking than hearing the warning "ding", and looking down at the dashboard to see that the "check engine" light has come on in your car. Don't panic, and pull over to the first safe location that you see.

The warning lights in your car are tied to the vehicles onboard diagnostic system. The problems that it detects are stored as trouble codes in your onboard diagnostic system, and the codes are read by a diagnostic computer that your mechanic will hook up to your vehicle. Those codes will tell your mechanic what the car issue was, when, and how many times it occurred. Usually the warning light doesn't signify an emergency situation, but sometimes it does. There are five incredibly common reasons for the "check engine" light to come on.

The first is that the oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. A faulty oxygen sensor can lead to bad fuel economy, and it has a potential to cause spark plug and catylytic converter damage to your vehicle. Secondly, if you have a broken, missing, or loose gas cap, your "check engine" light will come on. You should replace a broken or missing gas cap as soon as possible, or it will result in fuel evaporation.

Next, if your catalytic converter is failing, it will cause the warning light to engage. Your catalytic converter transforms the carbon monoxide produced by your vehicle to carbon dioxide. When it fails, it will result in poor engine performance, and it also means your vehicle will not pass an emissions test. A mass airflow sensor that goes bad will cause the light to engage, also. When your mass airflow sensor goes bad, you'll experience bad fuel efficiency, and it can also damage spark plugs, damage your catalytic converter, and also damage your oxygen sensor.

Lastly, if any of your spark plugs or spark plug wires are bad, you will have a "check engine" light engage. Bad spark plug components can damage the engine coils and oxygen sensor. If other warning lights are also engaged, such as the low oil pressure light, or the temperature reflects overheating, you should immediately pull over and contact your mechanic.

If you need engine repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today.

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