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Reasons Behind the Check Engine Light in Your Acura

by Mechanics Direct July 1, 2019

Offering Japanese efficiency in vehicle designs that are perfectly tailored to the American dream, Acura knows what it takes to create an amazing driving experience. However, as all vehicles represent a complex series of machinery, there is always the chance of malfunction.

Part of being a good driver is being able to notice the signs of issue and respond to them accordingly. In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at the check engine light and discuss what it can mean for your car should it illuminate.

What is the check engine light?

The check engine light is a warning indicator clearly visible on the Acura dashboard. It is controlled by the vehicle’s OBD (onboard diagnostic system). If this system detects an issue with the engine or surrounding systems, the check engine light will illuminate yellow.

Why is my check engine light illuminated?

The check engine light is designed to help safeguard you car’s most valuable system: the engine. By informing the driver of potential issues as soon as they happen, the check engine light not only guards the health of the engine but also keeps your Acura safer for you and those around you.

There can be many reasons why this light may illuminate, but in this article we will look at some of the most common. Whatever the cause, it is important to remember that the check engine light is there for an important reason and should not be ignored.

Gas Cap

One of the most common causes of the check engine light is actually one of the most simple and silly! We’ve all been in a rush at the pumps before, late for work or for a meeting, and may not be as thorough checking over our cars as we should. A loose fitting gas cap is one of the leading causes of check engine light illumination.

If the gas cap isn’t secure, it can allow fuel vapors to leak. The onboard diagnostic system will assume this to be an engine issue and will rightly illuminate the light. Therefore, before visiting a mechanic, your first check should be the gas cap for this potentially easy fix.

Oxygen Sensor

A malfunctioning oxygen sensor can also cause the check engine light to illuminate. This is often a sign that your Acura’s catalytic converter is under stress. If this is the case, you will need to seek professional repair service from a mechanic familiar with the Acura brand.

Spark Plug Problems

Spark plugs are essential for the ignition of the fuel in your engine. If these are not working correctly, you will notice your car misfires regularly. This is known as an ignition misfire and can be a reason why the check engine light is lit. Mechanics recommend you get your Acura’s spark plugs replaced or serviced on average every 25,000 miles. However, if you use your vehicle more often for commuting, for example, the spark plugs may deteriorate faster.

Faulty MAF Sensor

Similar to spark plugs, a faulty mass airflow (MAF) sensor can cause engine misfire. This type of misfire is known as a lean misfire. This is because the MAF sensor is responsible for supplying the right amount of air to the engine. Without this part working properly, the air/fuel mixture in the engine becomes lean, leading to misfires and the illumination of the check engine light.

Catalytic Converter

The most serious issue that your check engine light can warn you of is the failure of your Acura’s catalytic converter. This system is responsible for converting the highly-toxic emissions produced by burning fuel into road-safe emissions. Without this working properly, your vehicle becomes a danger to you and those around you, not to mention to the environment. This part is expensive to fix but it is most certainly essential to do so.

Mechanics Direct

If you’re the proud owner of an Acura and live in North Chelmsford, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tyngsborough, Westford, or Lowell, MA areas and are worried about the status of your engine or have experienced check engine light illumination, make Mechanics Direct your first call. With a 3-year/36,000 Mile Nationwide Warranty on all repairs* and 23 years of award-winning service, the dedicated team at Mechanics Direct have the expertise and experience necessary to have you safely back on the road with guaranteed work.

*see shop for details