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Has the check engine light in your car recently started flashing? It’s estimated that around 1 in 10 of all cars on the road currently have the check engine light on. While some drivers may brush it off as a non-concerning issue, it could be a sign of a more severe problem. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to keep your vehicle properly maintained, both for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Here we’ll go over some of the most common causes of the check engine light and reveal how you can turn it off.

Let me first say that I do not recommend taking your car or truck to the dealer to fix the check engine light. It’s no secret that auto manufacturers use the check engine light to attract more customers into the dealership. Once you show up, they will likely charge you anywhere between $50-$100 bucks just to run a simple diagnostics on your car. Instead of throwing your money away, look elsewhere to have the diagnostics performed at little-to-no cost.

check engine light

#1 – Gas Cap

One of the most common causes of the check engine light is the gas cap. Most modern-day cars and vehicles are built with sensors to alert the driver if the gas cap is faulty. If you just filled your tank at the gas station and noticed your check engine light is now on, there’s a chance you may have not screwed the cap on all the way; therefore, the check engine light will come on to notify you of this. Broken or damaged gas caps can also trigger this sensor, so make sure your car has a fully functional cap before hitting the road.

The good news is that new gas caps can be purchased at a low cost. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you should be able to buy one for around $20 bucks. Remember, though, there’s no “universal” gas cap, so you’ll need to find one that’s suited for your specific vehicle.

#2 – Electrical Wiring

Trying to navigate through a car’s electrical wiring can be quite tedious, even for experienced auto technicians. There are dozens upon dozens of wires sending power to the radio, locking mechanisms, interior light, exterior headlights, heating, air, etc. If some of these electrical wires get mixed around or ran incorrectly, it may trigger the check engine light. Although this isn’t a critical issue, it’s still something that you must address to fix the light.

#3 – Maintenance

A third common cause of the check engine light is from maintenance. If you recently had your vehicle serviced, a technician could have made a mistake that caused the check engine light to come on. Messing around with a car’s computer chip, diagnostics or even mechanical parts can trigger the check engine light. Call the shop where your car was serviced and tell them about your check engine light. They will likely fix the problem for free since they were the ones who caused it in the first place.

Mason is a content contributor for NFC Performance. Mason enjoys writing about all things car related. He suggests ordering all of your car accessories such as car lips and kits from NFCperformance.com.