Common Engine Challenges

Check Engine Light

What can trigger the illumination of your check engine light?

The check engine light can be among the most confusing and frustrating aspects of car ownership.

It’s simply a light that doesn’t offer any information to tell you exactly what the issue is.

As uncertain as a “check engine light” may be, your car’s onboard diagnostic system is important for maintaining your engine’s health.

With flashing or blinking diagnostic lights or if the check engine light illuminates, a mechanic should be consulted as soon as possible.

Warning lights on the dash control panel are just that, warnings.

Should one of those lights remains on once you’ve started your automobile, you might potentially have an issue and should have your car inspected for any required repair work.

The lights may turn on if the onboard diagnostics (OBD) system discovers a problem in the electronic-control system that it cannot rectify.

Subsequently, the computer system turns on:

  • A yellow caution indication labeled “check engine”
  • It could reflect “service engine soon”
  • Potentially “inspect powertrain”
  • Or the light may be only an icon of an engine (referred to as the International Examine Engine Symbol), possibly with labeled “Check.”.

Along with switching on the light, the computer system stores a “problem code” in its memory that reflects the source of the issue, such as a malfunctioning sensor or a misfiring engine.

The code can be interpreted by an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer system. This is typically basic equipment in any vehicle service center.

There are also a variety of reasonably affordable code readers that have been developed for DIYs.

NOTE:  Almost all parts merchants will read your code at no charge!

Some typical reasons the “Service Engine Soon” light has switched on include:.

  • Missing or loose gas cap.
  • Spark plugs or worn out/damaged wires
  • Electronic control module failure.
  • Faulty distributor or coil packs.
  • Emissions control fault, like the oxygen sensor.
  • Fuel quality issue.

The top 10 warning light automobile repairs:

  1. Changing oxygen sensing unit(s)
  2. Catalytic converter(s) failure.
  3. Faulty ignition coil(s) and spark
  4. Loose fuel cap.
  5. Changing thermostat.
  6. Defective ignition coil(s).
  7. Changing mass air flow sensing unit.
  8. Bad spark plugs and wires.
  9. Malfunctioning evaporative emissions (EVAP) purge control valve.
  10. Replacing evaporative emissions (EVAP) purge solenoid.

So, if one of the lights remain on after starting your vehicle, you could possibly have an issue and should get to a repair shop as soon as you can manage.

Not Starting up – typical reasons.

There’s nothing as uncomfortable as your car engine not starting.

It’s also one of the most common of engine challenges.

There’s practically no driver who hasn’t experienced that horrible feeling when your car won’t start.

Before your vehicle wouldn’t start, was there anything unusual noted, like a low power or a check engine light?

Knowing the answer could help when troubleshooting and diagnosing the problem.

All engines need 3 things to run and start: spark, fuel and compression.

If any one of these doesn’t happen, you aren’t moving.

There are two basic sorts of engine conditions where your engine won’t start:

  • No crank/ no start – Where you can’t hear the engine turning at all. You might hear a click or buzz but aside from that, absolutely nothing.
  • You turn the key to the “Start” position, however the engine won’t crank. You might hear a single click or continuous clicking. If so, a weak battery or bad connection at the battery terminals might be responsible.

Often a battery cable can accumulate corrosion inside causing the exact same problem.

In some cases a bad connection between the negative battery cable and the engine (bad ground) can produce the same effect.

Naturally, there might be other reasons, however generally this occurs when there is not adequate electrical current for the starter motor to turn over the engine.

If the battery is OK and the battery terminals appear clean and not corroded it might be:.

  1. Starter solenoid.
  2. Battery cable.
  3. Starter motor.

Crank/no start – When an engine cranks, you can hear it spin, but the engine does not catch.

Some of the most common reasons your car won’t start may include:.

  1. Engine is flooded.
  2. Bad fuel pump or fuel pump relay.
  3. Water in fuel.
  4. Bad mass air flow sensing unit.
  5. Bad crank or cam sensor or wiring.
  6. Problems with the engine computer system (PCM) or PCM circuits.
  7. Malfunctioning ignition coil pack.
  8. Inaccurate timing.
  9. Low compression in the engine.

Should you find your engine won’t start, it might not be a critical failure so don’t panic. Once you’ve exhausted possible options you are able to address, if the problem hasn’t been resolved, consult with a certified mechanic for further analysis and they’ll have you back on the road in no time!



We are a full service, ASE Certified, car repair center in Allen, Tx.
Call us today and set an appointment to schedule your
maintenance!  200 West Main St, Allen, Texas 75013;