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Why you should not ignore the engine warning light.

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Why you should not ignore the engine warning light.

Posted on Friday, 18 April 2014. Posted in Chelmsford Autos Blog

There are two schools of thought with regards to the engine warning light. The first is to simply ignore it. The problem will not go away, but many people feel that there is no reason to spend time and money investigating the fault, instead it is better to wait for the part to fail and then have it replaced. Some cars are infamous for having engine warning lights that stay lit for years without any obvious sign of a problem and this certainly helps to encourage complacency.

The second school of thought, the most sensible one if you value your car and safety, is to get it checked out. An engine light can indicate many problems that are developing and while none of the problems are likely to result in a serious mechanical failure, they can lead to very costly repair work. It is sometimes more economical to investigate and repair before a minor fault develops into a major breakdown.

There are a few common issues which cause an engine warning light to come on. The most common problem is a fault with the oxygen / lambda sensor that controls the amount of oxygen in emissions. A failure of the sensor will not stop a car from working but the car will run less efficiently. Some sports models will become extremely inefficient and burn fuel at a rapid rate is the oxygen sensor fails.

Another common problem is a loose or cracked fuel cap. An engine warning light may come on in some cars if the cap is not secure. You will normally notice the car jerking or less responsive if this happens, so check your fuel cap before going to the garage. This is generally very cheap to fix.

Catalytic converters are the third most common cause of an engine warning light. A failing catalytic converter will result in increased fuel consumption and eventually the car will not start.

Spark plugs and other electrics are the also likely culprits. These will usually start to fail and cause performance problems before they completely stop working.

Modern diagnostic tools can quickly analyse engine warning lights. It is always better to determine the cause of the problem first and then decide whether or not to repair or replace a part than to wait for failure. In many cases an engine warning light will indicate a problem that will result in increased fuel consumption. In the long run it is always cheaper to act sooner.

If your engine warning light is on we are happy to diagnose he problem for you and suggest a solution. To book an appointment either call us on 01245 475050, complete this form or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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