Black Tape Not Best Solution for Check Engine Light

You know that little light in your instrument cluster that kind of resembles an engine and usually has the word “check” alongside? Oddly enough, that’s your check engine light. It comes on when you start your car, and, if everything is working correctly, should go off a few seconds after the motor starts running. When the check engine light comes on at other times, it means there’s a problem with anything from a bad sensor to a faulty gas cap. Placing a piece of black tape over the light may make it less annoying, but it won’t solve the problem.

Bring Your Car in for Quick Check

Bring your car into any of the service advisors at a Chapman Arizona dealership and they can quickly diagnose the problem using a computer. They simply plug into a little port underneath your dash and get a code from the engine, telling them where the problem originates. You can also go to an auto parts store or online and buy a code reader to give you the same information, which you can then decipher using the Internet. You’ll then, of course, have to fix the problem yourself, which could be relatively easy or extremely difficult, depending on your skill level and the problem at hand.

Don’t Confuse the Lights

Don’t confuse the “service required” light with the “check engine” light. Service required just means your car is due for an oil change or other regular service, where the check engine light indicates a problem. By developing a relationship with a service advisor at any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships, you not only have a trusted source that can advise you when it’s time for maintenance and alert you to any recalls, you’ll also feel confident they’ll give you a fair deal when it comes time to diagnose a check engine light.

Usually Means Problem With Emission System

The check engine light is usually tied to a problem with the emission system, which could be something as simple as an oxygen sensor malfunction or more serious, such as failure of the catalytic converter. “The engine and the emission control system are so interlinked that the health of the emission control system is a good indication of the general health of the car’s engine,” according to Dan Edmunds, vehicle testing director for He points out that ignoring the problem or using the black tape fix usually leads to more expensive solutions later on.

Most Common Problems

Some of the most common check engine light problems are listed by CarMD. They include: loose gas cap, catalytic converter, O2 sensor, mass air flow sensor and spark plug wires. Sometimes the problem is not with the sensor itself, but with the wiring leading to the sensor. If you have rodents or pests in your garage, they can chew on those wires and cause the sensor to stop working.

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