Why is Your Check Engine Light On and How Can You Fix It?

By Product Expert | Posted in Service, Tips & Tricks on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 at 5:04 pm
Reasons Why Your Volkswagen Check Engine Light is On at Karen Radley Volkswagen-Woodbridge VA-Lit Check Engine Light on Dashboard

Reasons Why Your Volkswagen Check Engine Light is On

Have you ever been driving your 2016 Volkswagen Golf and had your check engine light flicker to life? In an instant, you can go from calm and collected to paranoid and perturbed. An impending feeling of doom often accompanies this little dashboard warning light and you are left wondering whether or not your car will explode.

It is not as bad as all that, but if not addressed can lead to more serious issues down the road. Take a look at the top reasons why your Volkswagen check engine light is on and avoid the nervous sweats that often go hand in hand with a check engine light.

1. You Have a Bad O2 Sensor

Designed to monitor the levels of unburned oxygen in your exhaust system, the oxygen sensors in your Volkswagen can fail if not maintained over time. In addition to causing your check engine light to come to life, a bad O2 sensor can lead to lower fuel-economy numbers and damage to spark plugs and your catalytic converter.

2. You Have a Missing, Damaged or Loose Gas Cap

Have you ever left the gas station and had that “duh” moment when you realize you forgot to put your gas cap back on? Chances are your check engine light was on as well. A well-maintained gas cap ensures that you have proper pressure in your fuel tank and prevents harmful emissions. If not addressed, a faulty gas cap will lead to a loss in fuel due to evaporation and more trips to the gas station.

READ MORE: How to Change a Tire on Your Volkswagen Passat

3. You Have a Bad Catalytic Converter

Your catalytic converter protects the environment around us by converting dangerous carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Without a functioning catalytic converter, you will be unable to pass an emissions test, experience reduced performance and your vehicle may run at a higher temperature. Damage to the catalytic converter is caused by lack of maintenance, so be sure to schedule regular service checks with the Karen Radley Volkswagen Service Department.

Reasons Why Your Volkswagen Check Engine Light is On at Karen Radley Volkswagen-Woodbridge VA-Sevice Engine Soon Check Engine Light

4. You Have a Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

In order for your 2016 Volkswagen Passat to run at peak performance, you need the proper air fuel mixture and that is where the mass airflow sensor comes in. Designed to monitor the amount of air entering your engine, the mass airflow sensor is needed to attain maximum efficiency. A faulty sensor can lead to more damage to spark plugs, O2 sensors and your catalytic converter as well as reduced performance.

READ MORE: What Should You Do if Your Volkswagen is Recalled?

5. You Have Bad Spark Plugs or Spark Plug Wires

If your check engine light is on, you may have a case of bad spark plugs or spark plug wires. Spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture and the spark plug wires will transmit energy from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. Bad spark plugs or spark plug wires can damage the catalytic converter, as well as the ignition coils and O2 sensors and will have a negative impact on performance and fuel economy if not maintained.

While your check engine light coming on may induce paranoia and apprehension — don’t panic. Everything will be ok and all you need to do is schedule a service appointment at Karen Radley VW and let our service professionals take care of it. Chances are, it is one of a few top reasons why your Volkswagen check engine light is on and it is an easy fix. You can prevent this situation in the future with basic auto maintenance and regular service checks.