If your car engine management light has switched on while driving (assuming that you know what the engine is!), there is a problem which needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

But what on earth could the problem be? The truth is that a number of issues can be to blame for the engine management light switching on.

The engine management light itself looks like this;

engine management light

And if it comes on, you need to get a range of estimates from the best local garages using WhoCanFixMyCar, simply click Get Quotes and enter your registration number and we’ll do the rest.


To help you understand what specific issues could be causing the management light to switch on, we have listed the five most common reasons for an engine light coming on.

Oxygen sensor problems 

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!


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.

If the engine 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.


Catalytic converter damage

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


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 engine and your car will struggle to start if one of them is faulty. The engine warning light will appear in such a case, however, a spark plug is easily replaced and the repair will not be expensive.

If you want to understand more about warning lights, click the link below to read our guide on what the most common ones mean.


What car warning lights mean

If your engine management light is on right now, get quotes from the best local garages using WhoCanFixMyCar now!

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