There’s little more disconcerting than an engine light that illuminates out of nowhere at the worst possible time. It’s the kind of thing that happens in the middle of a super long and challenging journey in less than ideal weather. Or perhaps, in the runup to an important trip where you simply cannot run the risk of a breakdown.

Long story short, your engine light seems to know the very worst possible time and place to illuminate. This is also why a surprising proportion of drivers admit ignoring their engine lights entirely.

Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that ignoring an engine light is a bad idea. Burying your head in the sand could open the door to rather unfortunate consequences. 

Mercifully, most engine warning lights indicate a relatively minor issue that’s easy to correct. So chances are, you won’t need to scrap your car. More often than not, the issue can be attributed to one of the following:

Your Fuel Cap is Loose or Damaged

There needs to be a certain amount of pressure within your fuel tank for it to do its job properly and efficiently. If your fuel cap is either loose or damaged, pressure levels cannot be maintained and your engine warning light may switch on.

This is one of the easiest problems to correct, given how replacement fuel caps cost next to nothing. Nevertheless, fail to address the issue and you run the risk of losing a fair amount of fuel to evaporation. While at the same time, making it trickier for your fuel tank and pump to do their jobs.

Your Oxygen (O2) Sensor Needs to Be Replaced

This is a simple yet important component in your exhaust system, which is used to gauge the amount of unburned oxygen in your car’s emissions. It’s also relatively easy and affordable to replace.

Ignore a faulty oxygen sensor for too long and it could prove costly.  Along with reducing your vehicle’s overall fuel economy, it could also do damage to your catalytic converter and your spark plugs. Hence, it’s better tackled as early as possible.

You Have a Damaged Catalytic Converter

Slightly more serious and costly to correct, a broken catalytic converter should never be ignored. This is the component of your exhaust system that converts deadly carbon monoxide into less harmful carbon dioxide.

Failure to repair or replace a damaged catalytic converter means risking an MOT failure. It could also mean a heavy fine if your vehicle is subject to a random emissions test. Fuel economy can also be affected by a damaged catalytic converter.

You Need New Spark Plugs or Plug Wires

If it turns out that your spark plugs are to blame for the illuminated engine light, you’re in for a pretty easy and inexpensive ride. Replacing spark plugs is within the capabilities of just about anyone, and they don’t cost a great deal.

However, damaged or broken spark plugs or left unaddressed can damage ignition coils, oxygen sensors and catalytic converters. They’re also guaranteed to result in poor engine performance and reduced overall fuel economy.

Your Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) Needs Replacing

Last but not least, a mass airflow sensor is used to measure how much air gets into the engine and the amount of fuel it needs to do its job. Hence, an MAF that isn’t doing its job properly can have a knock-on effect on your car’s performance.

Mass airflow sensor prices vary hugely from one vehicle make and model to the next. Nevertheless, they’re far cheaper and easier to sort than the damage they can cause if left to their own devices.

If you have any questions regarding responsible car scrapping and recycling in Norfolk, contact a member of the team at Take My Scrap Car anytime.