Westside Service - Allegan(269) 673-6668
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Michigan Auto Repair

A Westside Auto Group Company

Top 10 Check Engine Light-Related Repairs from 2023 CarMD.com Study

CarMD.com makes annual studies of the most frequent repairs related to the check engine light. For the year 2023, catalytic converter replacement took the top position – a sad reminder that thieves continue to steal catalytic converters in large numbers.

Another finding was that the gas cap replacement fell to the sixth position, after placing in the top five for over a decade. CarMD.com had no explanation for this change.

Without further ado, here is the list. We added comments and explanations of the functions of some of the parts:

Catalytic converter replacement – catalytic converters rarely fail of their own accord. Theft plays a major part in their position at the top of the list.

Oxygen sensor replacement – oxygen sensors replacements are “collateral damage” of the catalytic converter thefts, as the oxygen sensor often requires replacement due to the damage caused by the thieves.

Ignition coil and spark plugs  replacement– spark plugs need to be replaced at regular time intervals, but as the vehicle ages, ignition coils may fail as well.  

Mass air flow sensor replacement – most vehicles have a hot wire mass airflow (MAF) sensor which consists of a wire held at ambient temperature, and a wire heated to a high temperature. Repeated cooling and heating causes metal fatigue and contributes to eventual MAF sensor failure.

Ignition coil  replacement – ignition coils work closely with spark plugs – they convert low voltage to high voltage that powers spark plugs to generate sparks that ignite air-fuel mixture. Age increases probability of failure.

EVAP canister purge control valve replacement – located between the fuel tank and the intake manifold, purge control valve, when opened, allows fuel vapors from Evap canister to flow directly into the engine. This results in improved fuel efficiency and lowers hydrocarbon emissions. As any device with moving parts, it is prone to failure, and the probability of failure increases with age.

Tighten or replace fuel cap – faulty fuel cap is the best news you can hear when mechanics diagnose the check engine light condition. Fuel cap replacement is simple and inexpensive.

ABS wheel speed sensor replacement – wheel speed sensor, as the name implies, provides wheel speed information to the ABS system. As it ages, it can fail due metallic debris or clogging because of the brake dust.

Fuel injector  replacement – fuel injectors can fail due to bad fuel quality which clogs the injector, or due to material failure that causes a crack or a leak. Age can be a factor.

Reprogram powertrain control module – any time powertrain control module (PCM) is replaced, new one will need to be reprogrammed. Reprogramming may also be necessary if the manufacturer issues software update, or to resolve some drivability or emissions issues.

At Westside Service we highly recommend that you visit a professional auto repair shop if your vehicle illuminates the check engine light. Driving for a prolonged time with the check engine light “on” may result in expensive damage to your vehicle – and without a professional inspection, it is difficult to determine if the condition that caused the check engine light to come “on” is a benign one.

So if your car signals need for a visit to a repair shop, call our location that is most convenient for you, and we will be happy to make an appointment. You can also make an appointment online if you find it more convenient.

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