Your car’s “check engine light” can send a wave of panic right through to the pit of your stomach but don’t worry, there’s often an easy fix either done by yourself or a local mechanic. If you’ve done what you can and the light is still showing, don’t delay in taking it in for an inspection – it will likely save you money in the long run and ease any worries you have.
Your fuel cap is loose
Often, tightening your fuel cap can quickly solve the problem. If your fuel cap is loose, damaged or missing altogether, your check engine light will likely show there’s an issue. Whilst this is an easy fix, if this happens often, you could potentially lose fuel through evaporation which means you will ultimately spend more on fuel in the long term.
Your oxygen sensor needs replacing
Your oxygen sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in your car’s exhaust. If it’s faulty, your car may end up burning more fuel than is necessary and you will end up spending more on petrol. It can also end up causing damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter. A failing converter is more common when regularly driving in urban areas where you’re subjected to numerous stop-starts. This can sometimes be fixed by taking a half hour continuous drive on a motorway, but if the problem persists, see a mechanic.
There’s a fault with your battery
Your mechanic will be able to check the condition of your battery with a voltmeter to see if it meets the minimum requirements. Older batteries tend to drain more quickly and will need to be replaced every 5-7 years. If it is a battery issue, worry not, a replacement and fitting should cost between £100-£150.
There are fan, alternator or serpentine belt faults
The belts in your vehicle work overtime to ensure your engine stays cool and translate energy. Because of this, they’re subjected to more wear and tear, more so than some other areas of your car. Your mechanic will be able to check the condition of your belts and potentially replace them to ensure your engine is running at top performance.
You have a faulty Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)
Your vehicle’s MAF measures the amount of air entering your engine to determine the amount of fuel your engine requires. If this is faulty, it can cause damage to your spark plugs or catalytic converter and you may experience reduced economic performance. This could be damaged due to a faulty air filter, which is usually replaced for a low cost when you have a service. Failing to service your vehicle and changing the air filter could result in bigger, more costly issues later down the line.
Should you experience a breakdown or you’re unable to start your car in the morning, it’s good to know that help is on hand. With car insurance arranged through 1 Stop Insurance Consultants, we can ensure that the right breakdown cover is in place, along with any other optional extras to put your mind at ease, from GAP cover to excess protection.
To find out more about making your car insurance work harder for you, call our friendly team on 020 8773 2222 or email on email@example.com