The Importance of your check engine light and emissions tests

Check Engine Light, Service Engine

If you have made it a habit of driving with your check engine light on it is a habit you should learn to break. Your check engine light can lead to many serious issues and having it taken care will help you avoid far more costly issues down the road. In fact, in most cases if your check engine is on you will fail your next emissions test.

A quick check

On some vehicles your check engine light could actually be triggered by your gas cap being loose. The reason a loose gas cap can trigger your check engine light is that vapours can be leaking into the atmosphere. As part of the emissions regulations in Canada the leaking of hydrocarbons into the air via your gas tank is considered an issue and therefore if detected your check engine light will be activated. Check your gas tank to see if the cap is loose or missing. Even cracks can cause issues. This is the first and easiest step to find out what is triggering your check engine light. Newer cars have a “click” feature on gas caps that will indicate the cap is on properly. Make sure you have heard the click to avoid further problems.

Further Issues

If you check your gas cap and it is fine then you should book an engine diagnostic with your auto mechanic to find out what is wrong. This is doubly important if your emissions test is due soon. In most cases the check engine light is a pretty good sign you will fail your emissions test. This will be inconvenient as it can hold you up from getting your stickers. It will also double the cost of the emissions test as you will have to have it repeated at the same auto shop that did the original test. Common issues that can cause your engine light to go on include:

•    Holes in the vacuum lines that run to the engine

•    Faulty purge or vent valves

•    Emission control issues including the catalytic converter

Catalytic Converters

Some of the above issues are easy enough to take care of for a reasonable cost. However, if you run into issues with the catalytic converter things can get costly. Your car must have a functioning catalytic converter to help cut down on the noxious fumes produced by your car. Without a properly functioning catalytic converter you will not pass the emissions test. A catalytic converter can be quite expensive to replace depending on the make and model of your car.

When you are experiencing a check engine warning on your dashboard Double B Automotive can help. They can run a diagnostic to help locate the problem and take care of your issues so your car is ready for its next emissions test. Visit or call 519-767-3252 to schedule an appointment.

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