If your car engine management light switches on while driving, there’s a problem which needs addressing ASAP.

The problem with engine management light is that its vague. There could be a number of issues are to blame for the light switching on.

The engine management light itself looks like this:

engine management light

If it comes on, you can to get a range of estimates from the best local garages using WhoCanFixMyCar. For engine management light diagnostics – just enter your registration number and we’ll do the rest.

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To help you understand what specific issues could be causing the management light to switch on, we have listed the five most common causes:


Common reasons why your engine warning light has come on:

A faulty oxygen sensor

The oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring how much fuel is being burned within your cars engine. It does this by examining the level of oxygen in the exhaust system of your car. The most common cause of problems with an oxygen sensor is oil and ash coverage which prevents the sensor from carrying out its primary function.

There are a number of oxygen sensors located within a car engine system, including the exhaust system and certain parts of the combustion system.

If this is the problem, a mechanic can make a fix very quickly. However, if you ignore the engine warning light and a blocked oxygen sensor is the issue, the knock on effect could cause huge damage to the catalytic converter and cost upwards of £1,500 in repairs!

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Loose or broken fuel cap

Surprisingly, the engine warning light will switch on if the fuel cap is not closed properly or there is damage on the part which allows air into the fuel system.

Therefore, if the warning light switches on, stop your car and check the fuel cap. If it is secure, take a close look to see if there are any cracks.


Failing catalytic converter

The catalytic converter is responsible for preventing dangerous fumes from entering the air as the car’s combustion process produces carbon monoxide and other harmful pollutants. The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system. If left untreated, it will pose a risk to you and your passengers as dangerous fumes could leak into the interior of your car.

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Mass airflow sensor/air filter

If there is a problem with the mass airflow sensor or the engine air filter is clogged, the engine light will come on. Fortunately, the fix is very simple and cheap as the air filter can be easily reached and replaced if needed.


Failing spark plugs

Spark plugs are responsible for initiating the combustion process within a car’s engine. Your car will struggle to start if one of them is faulty. However, a spark plug is easily replaced and the repair will not be expensive.


What to do to resolve an engine warning light:

Summary of repairs you might need to resolve an engine warning light


If you’re still not sure, have a mechanic diagnose your warning light

With the engine warning light being a bit vague it is possible that your problem won’t be anything above, or may be a combination of a couple of them! If you’re unsure you can have a mechanic run your car through a couple tests to determine and then fix, the issue at hand!

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What do the other warning lights mean?

If you want to understand more about warning lights, you can read our guide on what the most common car warning lights mean.