What the Check Engine Light can mean on your European Car

alexs-auto-haus-check-engineThe check engine light can be a scary sight – but don’t fret as the cause is not always a serious problem. Many BMWs, Porsche, Mercedes and other newer vehicles will turn on the check engine light for something as simple as a loose gas cap. So the first thing you should check is that your gas cap is tight ( give it a turn for a few clicks ). Many reasons for the check engine light are not caused by anything disastrous and nat not indicate an urgent emergency. However you should have your vehicle diagnosed as soon as you are able, to determine the cause of the problem.

If tightening the gas cap doesn’t do the trick, give us a call to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic check. We can run diagnostics checks to determine the cause of the check engine light. Not all check engine lights will require a costly repair.

These are some of the most common check engine light causes:

  • Oxygen Sensor – The oxygen sensor is responsible for determining how much unburned oxygen is exiting the vehicle in the exhaust. When the sensor has a problem it will report bad or false data to the car’s on-board computer.
  • Gas cap – If your gas cap was not loose, it may be possible that the gas cap is faulty. If it does not make an effective seal then fuel will be lost through evaporation to the atmosphere.
  • Catalytic converter – When a catalytic convert fails, the car’s exhaust will not flow as freely to the tail pipe causing the vehicle to lose gas mileage and power.
  • Mass airflow sensor – This sensor helps the vehicle’s computer calibrate the fuel/air mixture entering the engine. The most typical cause of failure to these sensors is due to not replacing the air filter frequently enough. Make sure to replace the air filter at least once per year and at recommended mileage.
  • Spark plugs/ignition system – Spark plugs fail from time to time as they wear out. Keeping the car properly maintained and spark plugs replaced at recommended mileage will help keep the car running smoothly.

Regardless of the cause, it’s important to have your vehicle properly diagnosed to determine the cause and that the repair is done at a reputable auto shop.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your car; so, if your check engine light is on in your European car, then we’d be happy to help.


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