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Ignoring The “Check Engine” Light? This Is Why You Shouldn’t

According to several news agencies, more than 9 million drivers ignore the “check engine” light on their dashboards in the country for three or more months at least once.

Reports indicate that by ignoring these warnings, depending on the vehicle you drive, you could be exposed to a major headache later on. Reports indicate that depending on the model and make of vehicle you own, the check engine light may be linked to specific problems that, if left unattended, could be much more expensive to fix in the long run. All vehicles manufactured after 1996 were equipped with warning signs that read “check engine” to alert drivers of diverse problems that could lead to serious engine malfunctions. These lights are part of an on board diagnostics system that is constantly verifying information on the vehicle’s engine and transmission sensors in order to find potential emissions-related issues. More than 220 million vehicles traveling across the U.S. are equipped with these devices.

According to experts, most issues linked to the “check engine” light have to do with a potential failure of the oxygen sensor. These devices are designed to monitor the amount of unburned oxygen in the vehicle’s exhaust to alert your car’s software whether the exhaust is being pumped with too much or not enough fuel. To have these potentially defective sensors replaced could cost less than $200 dollars but if the driver chooses to ignore this issue, the driver will see at least a 40 percent drop in the vehicle’s gas mileage.

CarMD has investigated issues linked to the activation of “check engine” warning lights in several models to come up with a list of models and the issues they are prone to to experiencing early on.

According to the CarMD Vehicle Health Index, the most common problem in Audi vehicles may be linked to vacuum hoses. The agency reported that 13 percent of all car problems reported with Audi models were quickly solved with vacuum hose repairs. The vacuum hose replacement of an Audi vehicle may cost about $95, according to the the reports.

When it comes to BMW vehicles, the most common issue may be linked to vacuum leaks. CarMD reported that 14 percent of all problems related to BMW vehicles turn out to be linked to vacuum leaks, which could cost $100 to the car owner.

When the “check engine” light comes on in Chrysler vehicles, most problems may be associated with the vehicle’s gas cap. According to the reports, in 10 percent of all Chrysler car problem cases, the gas cap was reportedly loose, which usually fixed for free. However, if the exhaust gas recirculation valve is clogged and the engine light comes on, the repair could cost up to $208.

Hyundai vehicles are usually prone to presenting issues with its oxygen sensors, the report has shown. According to the study, most car problems linked to the activation of the “check engine” lights on Hyundai vehicles are linked to the malfunctioning of oxygen sensors, which could lead to a drop in your gas mileage if you do not fix the issue promptly. To repair issues with the oxygen sensors could cost the driver up to $221.

To learn more about the common “check engine” light repairs for all car makers, click here to read the full article.

About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.