E3 Spark Plugs Lists the Top Check Engine Light Issues
Chill out, lady! That check engine light might just mean it's time for new spark plugs.
Nothing elicits an “Oh, crap!” like the ding and glow of a “check engine” light popping on while you’re cruising down First Street with the top down and not a care in the world. Except of course for the thought of the impending mechanical and financial doom to which you’ve just been alerted. But don’t panic yet. E3 Spark Plugs has a list of the most common issues that kick on your check engine light and a few of them are simple and inexpensive.
- Replace oxygen (O2) sensor: The O2 sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells your vehicle’s computer when there is too much or not enough fuel. A bum sensor costs less than $200 to repair including parts and labor. Ignore it, and you can bet on a drop in your gas mileage up to 40 percent – an average $700 a year in wasted fuel.
- Replace gas cap: Missing, damaged or loose gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year. Not only does it harm the environment, but it can drop your gas mileage by 0.5%. Depending on the make, model and age of your vehicle, a gas cap can average $10 for a traditional vacuum cap to around $30 for a locking gas cap (recommended if you live one of the areas where gas siphoning and theft is a growing problem).
- Replace catalytic converter: A catalytic converter typically fails only when related (and usually much less expensive) parts like faulty spark plugs are ignored for too long. All that denial eventually will force replacement and repair costs in the neighborhood of $2000.
- Replace mass air flow sensor: The MAF sensor measures the amount of air entering your car’s engine and, therefore, how much fuel should be injected into the engine. A faulty sensor can cause a range of problems including stalling, misfiring and poor acceleration. Repair costs vary widely depending on your vehicle’s make, model and year – from $175 to more than $600.
- Replace spark plugs/wires: Besides the gas cap, replacing your spark plugs and wires is the least expensive of the most common check engine light fixes. If you’re handy with tools, it’s the cost of the spark plugs and wires plus an hour or so of your time. And if your shop charges more than about a $100 for both combined, get yourself a new mechanic. Be sure to ask for E3 car spark plugs or E3 truck spark plugs for a cleaner and more efficient burn.
Info comes by way of the inaugural CarMD Vehicle Health Index, a new annual report aimed at clearing the mystery of the ever-ominous check engine light by ranking the most common automotive failures that prompt the light, along with the associated fixes and repair costs.
“As our nationwide network of automotive technicians diagnose and repair vehicles, they upload information to our online system, which enables CarMD to create an unprecedented compilation of data and level of transparency never before available,” said Art Jacobsen, vice president, CarMD.com Corp. “We are pleased to share this data publicly for the first time, and believe it will be useful to consumers, automotive technicians and the industry as they maintain and evaluate new and used vehicles.”
Check out the full report here. Tell ‘em E3 Spark Plugs sent you.