Warning systems are a common part of modern vehicle models. These are intelligent systems in BMWs that are engineered to try and prevent your vehicle’s components from falling into permanent damage. One such system is the check engine light. When this light illuminates on your BMW’s dashboard, it could be as a result of many different issues.
One thing these issues have in common is that they all need immediate attention; otherwise you’ll be opening up your engine to extensive damage. Below are some of the most common reasons why the check engine light in your BMW will come on.
A Loose Fuel Cap
Along with securing the fuel in the tank, the fuel cap also helps to keep the engine system at the right pressure. The process of combustion that powers your BMW’s engine relies heavily on high pressure, and any slight interference with the pressure will compromise engine function. The engine light can illuminate if you refuel your car but forgot to put the cap on correctly, or worse forgot to tighten it at all.
A Blocked Fuel Pump
The fuel pump plays the important role of delivering highly-pressurized fuel into the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors then direct this fuel into the combustion chamber at the right ratio with oxygen for efficient combustion.
When the fuel pump is blocked due to accumulation of dust and dirt on it, the pressure of fuel getting into the fuel injectors is lowered. As a result, fuel will be delivered into the engine at an irregular rate, causing issues such as rough idling or misfiring. The ECU in your BMW will detect such issues and trigger the check engine light on the dashboard.
A Faulty Ignition
The ignition is the component in the engine that is responsible for sparking the fuel in the combustion chamber for the burning process. It releases the energy that powers the car. When there’s a problem in the ignition, the spark plugs will fail to light up and burn the fuel.
Faulty ignitions can be due to worn out spark plugs of broken down ignition coils. Whatever the case, the ignition will not be consistent in burning fuel, so when you accelerate, the engine is likely to misfire due to the inconsistent ignition of fuel. A faulty ignition can cause the engine to stall completely, therefore, it should be checked immediately.
Failure of an Oxygen sensor
The oxygen sensor helps to regulate the amount of oxygen getting into the engine cylinders for combustion to occur. It does this by measuring the amount of unburned oxygen in the BMW’s exhaust.
While your BMW will continue running even with a faulty oxygen sensor, it can trigger ignition issues as well as cause catalytic converter failure. A result of a faulty oxygen sensor is that your car will consume more fuel and fail carbon emission tests due to catalytic converter failure.
Remember, the amount of fuel burning in the combustion chamber needs to be in a certain ratio compared to the fuel. If the amount is higher or lower, the onboard computer will sense that and illuminate the check engine light.
Failure of the Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is responsible for converting carbon monoxide from the engine combustion system into harmless carbon dioxide that is then released into the air. When this converter fails, your engine will be sluggish to start due to blockage of the converter. This affects the amount of air getting into the car’s engine in order for combustion to take place.
Swedish Auto Service: Your BMW Experts
The check engine light can come as a good thing when it’s warning you of impending trouble in your engine. This is why you should treat it as urgent and contact our BMW specialists before continuing to drive. We will help ensure that your engine stays safe from permanent damage or costly repairs.
At Swedish Auto Service, we have a certified team of technicians that have the knowledge and technology to get to the root cause of your check engine light warning. Give us a call if you are in and around Cedar Park, Round Rock, Launder, and Austin, TA. We look forward to earning your business.