The car breakdown witnessescar breakdown witnesses are colored pictograms located on the panel behind the steering wheel that inform about any problem or breakdown that the vehicle suffers. A modern car can include about a hundred witnesses, although one of the most frightening drivers is that of engine breakdown, since most of the time it does not bring good news.
When the engine fault warning light comes on, we must remain calm and take a quick reading of the severity of the problem in order to remedy it quickly and effectively. In other words, if the vehicle continues to behave normally when the warning light comes on, it is most likely that the problem indicated by the light is not very serious. On the other hand, if when the warning light comes on we notice a loss of power, strange noises or smoke appears, it is essential stop the vehicle and call assistance services or a mechanic.
The light of engine fault warning light it can be turned on for many reasons. Next, we tell you some of the most common:
The catalyst It is a piece that is part of the Exhaust system of the vehicle and its main function is to reduce the pollution produced by expelling exhaust gases to the outside. The catalyst can fail due to an ignition failure or bad spark plugs or ignition coils. Changing the catalyst is one of the most expensive breakdowns, as it costs approximately one thousand euros.
Oxygen sensor failure
The oxygen sensor collects data on the amount of oxygen found in the flow of the Exhaust system of the vehicle, in order to analyze the efficiency of the catalyst and determine if it is working correctly. If the vehicle is not properly maintained, this sensor can fail, although it can also be damaged if we have coolant leaks. Changing the oxygen sensor is not very expensive, since a new one can cost us approximately 200 euros.
Fuel cap malfunction
The engine fault warning light can also be activated if it detects a fault in the engine fuel cap, since this problem leads to higher fuel consumption and also an increase in polluting emissions. Changing the fuel cap is very cheap, it can cost us less than 20 euros.
Ignition coil malfunction
The ignition coil It is responsible for providing current to the spark plugs so that they can make the spark that acts as a combustion mechanism in the car engine jump. As it is a piece that is in constant use, it is very important to maintain it well. We must bear in mind that if the ignition coil fails, it can cause a more serious failure in the catalytic converter, which is why the engine fault warning light is activated. Changing said coil can cost us approximately 220 euros.
Spark plug failure
The plugs They are the conductors that receive the voltage from the ignition coil to introduce it into the engine cylinder. The main task of the spark plugs is to create a spark capable of igniting the mixture of fuel and air that is inside. We must bear in mind that, generally, the spark plugs are changed every 100,000 kilometers. If they are not changed, a fault may occur which will cause the engine warning light to come on. The price of new spark plugs is around 350 euros. On the other hand, there are cases in which the main problem is in the spark plug wires, which by not working properly cause engine ignition failures. Changing the spark plug wires can cost between 10 and 20 euros.
The thermostat It is an essential element of the engine’s cooling system, since it regulates its temperature, preventing overheating. If the thermostat fails, the vehicle will not detect the engine temperature, so it will stop regulating it with the coolant. Replacing the thermostat with a new one may cost a few 200 euros.
EGR valve malfunction
The varvula EGR It is a piece that is responsible for recirculating part of the gases that come out through the exhaust towards the intake, that is, it reintroduces the smoke from the combustion of the engine into the cylinders with the aim of reducing NOx emissions. When there is a carbon build-up In the valve, the valve may get stuck, which will cause the car fault warning light to come on. This fault is very common, especially in diesel enginesdiesel engines and if we have to change it, its price is between 100 and 400 euros, depending on the type of car.
However, to keep the EGR valve in good condition, we can also go to a specialized workshop and perform, for approximately 100 euros, a engine cleaning and decarbonization.
Flow meter failure
The flow meter It is a sensor that is responsible for measuring the amount of air drawn in by the engine to control the need for fuel and the level of gases emitted. If this sensor breaks down, the consumption of the vehicle could skyrocket, so it is very important to change it as soon as possible. Its price is around 350 euros.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.