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My Check Engine Light Keeps Turning On and Off

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The engine control module (ECM) controls the check engine light, and if your automobile’s light keeps turning on and off, don’t make the mistake of assuming that it’s just a short. Uptown Imports warns that this light is turned on oftentimes because there is an unseen problem brewing underneath your European automobile’s hood. Here are reasons why a check engine warning will turn on-and-off.

Catalytic Converter Failure

The catalytic converter has a lifespan of about 70,000 miles. Many last more than 100,000 miles, but when this part begins to fail, your ECM will turn on the check engine warning. This is a crucial part of your exhaust system that needs to be replaced right away.

Electrical System Failure

An electrical system failure could cause the check engine light to turn on and off, and this problem could be a short or an issue with the ECM or system sensors. It is important to have any electrical system problems looked into to avoid an electrical fire.

Exhaust System Failure

Aside from the catalytic converter, the check engine light can also come on if there’s a problem in the exhaust system elsewhere. This includes exhaust system leaks or, although a different system, vacuum leaks. Either will illuminate the light.

Fuel Cap Sealing Failure

This problem you can fix yourself. The check engine light will come on if your gas cap is not sealed over the tank tightly. The gas cap is designed to create a vacuum seal to prevent fuel evaporation. If the cap is loose, the check engine light will come on.

Mass Airflow Sensor Failure

The mass airflow sensor keeps track of the air flowing into your engine so that the ECM can adjust the fuel mixture. If the mass airflow sensor fails, the ECM may put too much gas in the mixture and your check engine light will come on.

Oxygen Sensor Failure

The oxygen sensor measures the oxygen in your European automobile’s exhaust. This is different from the mass airflow sensor. This part will also cause the ECM to make adjustments that are unnecessary if it is sending back incorrect oxygen readings.

Spark Plug Failure

Without the spark plugs, your engine’s combustion can never begin. The spark plugs ignite the air and gas in the cylinders to get everything up and running. If your spark plugs are failing, misfiring, or are worn, your check engine warning will come on.

Transmission Failure

Finally, because the transmission doesn’t have a warning light of its own, the ECM uses the check engine light to warn you of any transmission problems. In this particular case, you may also notice performance issues in your European automobile.

Uptown Imports in Minneapolis, MN, can find out why your check engine light is coming on and fix the problem. Give us a call today to schedule a service appointment.

Photo by baloon111 from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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