I still remember the day that I bought my first car. I thought it was the most perfect vehicle in the world, and I vowed to care for it diligently. Unfortunately, within a few days I had forgotten about my promise, and I started tossing fast food wrappers in the back like everyone else. After awhile I realized that neglecting my car was turning the inside into a garbage pit, and I decided to learn how to take better care of my vehicle. I took a class on auto detailing, and it really helped me to turn things around. I want to teach you what I learned, so you should read this blog.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, some or most of your engine's parts, functions, and interactions are aided by and processed by the vehicle's central computer. The computer uses several sensors throughout the engine compartment to manage the engine's function, and a sensor will notify the computer if there is a problem with that area of the engine. The computer shows you a check engine light when the sensor detects a problem or is no longer in contact with the computer. These components, with their ingenious marriage of mechanical and electrical technology, will more than likely require trained technicians to resolve. However, as you'll see below, some problems won't always require you to take the vehicle straight to a repair garage.
1. Dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor
This delicate apparatus is mounted somewhere in the air intake path. The sensor detects the flow and speed of the air so the computer can balance the air/fuel mixture. Dirty wires may lead to the engine surging, losing power, or stalling. Eventually, the check engine light will turn on. You can fix this problem by obtaining a solution specially formulated to clean mass air flow sensors, and carefully cleaning the soot off of the wires.
2. Failed Oxygen Sensor
This sensor is located at the exhaust manifold, and it measures how much oxygen is flowing out. A broken oxygen sensor means the computer doesn't know how well it's mixing air and fuel, and will fail emissions tests. With the right tools, you can install a replacement oxygen sensor, as they are comparatively inexpensive as engine parts go.
3. Clogged Exhaust Gas Recycler
This engine part helps improve your fuel economy by burning the unused fuel found in the exhaust. A faulty EGR will cause your engine to idle very roughly and get very bad fuel economy. This sensor, like the mass air flow sensor, is expensive to replace, but you can clean it so long as you have the right tools to properly remove, clean, and reinstall it.
Delaying repairs comes at a hefty cost. Each one of the problems described above means not only the potential failure of the problematic part, but also that of the catalytic converter. If a spark plug, ignition coil, plug wire, mass air flow sensor, exhaust gas recycler, or oxygen sensor fails, oxygen will flood the catalytic converter running the device too hot until it must be replaced completely. This will result in a costly repair. Preventive maintenance and vigilance will help you catch such potentially costly problems before they are too severe.
Now, just because the check engine light is flashing it doesn't mean that the car will quickly stop working or immediately break down. Nevertheless, the check engine light is a sign that something is amiss with your engine, and that components could become severely damaged if you don't do something about it. With the information provided here, you can have a better idea as to the severity of the problem and the extent to which you can mitigate it yourself.
14 May 2015