What Is the Check Engine Light?
The check engine light acts to monitor the operations of the vehicle and other inclusive car systems like the emission control. This came to force in the middle 1980s in cars sold in the United States. This is linked to the OBD2 scanners and other diagnostic tools available in cars from the mid-1980s.
The car onboard computer triggers on this check engine light whenever a car diagnostic sensor provides and off range reading.
In the car world, the OBD shortened from word ON Board Diagnostic and the OBD2 second generation onboard diagnostic capture a code that can only be decoded by a specific code scanner. The OBD2 is configured to continuously check some car sensors and when it finds something out of range; it turns the check engine light on and then stores a five digit code in the onboard computer memory.
Why does the Toyota Fortuner Check Engine Light Come On?
Suffice to state that regular car maintenance is the key to keeping the check engine light away from your car. Having the check engine light come on your car dashboard can produce fears as to what the actual fault might be. Thus diagnosing this to ascertain the real cause can be your best first step before you are pushed into some more expensive repair. Read more to find out the possible triggers of your check engine light.
- A loose or Damaged Fuel Tank Cap
Once your gas tank cap is tightly closed or covered, pressure in your fuel tank gets retained thus leaving out the possibility of fumes break out. If your cap breaks or doesn’t lap properly, your check engine light will not only be triggered on, but you will lose fuel through evaporation.
- An Oxygen Sensor That Is Bad
Before launching into any form of repair, it is vital to confirm if the oxygen sensor is still working normally or requires a replacement. The oxygen sensor is configured to measure the quantity of the unburned oxygen left over in the car exhaust system. It is vital that a defective oxygen sensor be replaced and the continued us of a defective oxygen sensor can lead to excess burning of fuel, reduced fuel mileage and ultimately the wearing out of your car catalytic converter.
- A Bad or Damaged Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is an environment friendly component meant to protect the environment by changing carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and where there a failing in its operations, the check engine light is triggered on. The wear of the catalytic converter could be as a result of a poorly or no maintenance. The catalytic converter being in good working order is your passport to passing the car emission test.
- A Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor
Another area to go to if there check engine light is triggered is the Mass Airflow Sensor. This inspects the volume of air circulating around the car engine, the importance of this is that the proper quantity required to run the car engine is determined. Having a bad mass airflow sensor can hamper the otherwise smooth operations of the car engine resulting in the or total damage of catalytic converter, oxygen sensor and indeed the spark plugs if there is no fix or replacement made.
- Bad Spark Plug or Spark Plug Cables
As a vital part of the car engine system, the spark plug does the job of igniting the fuel mixture while spark plug cables convey the power to the engine. If any of these parts goes bad; the check engine light is bound to be triggered. If this fault is allowed to fester, there can be a reduced supply of energy to the engine and a bad mileage
How Safe Is It to Drive When the Check Engine Light is on?
For as much as you need to immediately get your car for diagnosis and fixing, it is important o note that there is no need to panic when the check engine light pops up. The check engine light is programmed to pop up once something goes wrong with the array of complex sensors. If the check engine comes on while you are yet driving, take time to observe if there is any unusual car operation different from the normal. Observe to see if there is any bucking or surging of the car while in motion.
If there is no unusual operation, keep calm and continue driving. The check engine light can be triggered by a wide range of components from a bad catalytic converter to a worn MAF sensor. To be sure, have the check engine light examined and a fix recommended by a professional mechanic. Continued driving of a car with a bad oxygen sensor for example can result in the destruction of your car catalytic converter over time. Handling this repair can be more expensive than having fixed the initial fault.
If it is that you drive a newer car model and your car check engine light just triggered after you fueled up at a gas station, it is possible that the tank cover has not been firmly shut. Pull over, take off the gas cover and put it back firmly. Get into your car and then drive a short while and check to see if the light has disappeared. Bear in mind that sometime you will be required to restart your car for several times before the light disappears. If after doing this your check engine light still does not disappear, it could signal and underlying in the emission system. Find your way to a mechanic who will use a scan tool to decode the code stored on your onboard computer. Ensure you follow the recommendations he makes after examining the stored codes and where he calls for the replacement of any defective part, do so immediately to avoid having to face a more expensive fix.