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“Check Engine” Problems in Used Cars and Solutions

by timmyradloff

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You’re out on the road in downtown Ottawa again when all of a sudden the “check engine” lights up. Soon, you start thinking about how much it’ll cost you to fix whatever it is that’s troubling the engine. However, experts say you may not have to spend hundreds after all.

Data collected by a major car diagnostics company in the U.S. has stated that the problems behind a “check engine” light, for the most part, have simple and affordable solutions. While the company sells a diagnostic tool for more than $100 that will help drivers pinpoint what’s wrong with their car, it only takes a keen eye and a sharp mind to spot the problem. The study lists down the two most common reasons for a “check engine” light with the cheapest fixes. Moreover, the data was taken between 1996 and 2009.

Loose gas cap

The gas cap is the lid for your fuel tank which you usually open with a twist when you gas up. A loose gas cap is the most common reason for the “check engine” light and also a major pain in terms of emissions. A lot can go wrong if your system isn’t pressurized and the car releases unburned hydrocarbons into the air—all because of a loose gas cap.

There are at least two solutions to this problem: screw the cap until it clicks or get a new one for $15-20 average. You can get gas caps from any service shops, spare parts stores, car dealer lots, and even online. If the system isn’t sealed tight, the engine cannot burn every drop of fuel it combusts within its chambers.

Worn-out spark plugs

As the name implies, a spark plug initiates a spark that helps ignite the fuel inside the chamber to be burned and turn into energy. A worn-out spark plug can become a problem for brand new and used cars in Ottawa, as misfires can damage vital parts of the car. Spare spark plugs only cost around $10 to $20 if you know how to replace these things yourself. Replace a spark plug after 30,000 miles or as indicated by the product manual.

Sometimes, the things people think are costly to fix turns out to have solutions well within their budget. If you don’t have that “check engine” light fixed, it may continue to bother you until you bring it to a mechanic. Whether you own brand new or used cars Ottawa dealers are selling, a “check engine” light is never a good sign.

For more information on the matter, read the articles at and Also, go to a certified mechanic if your Toyota Sienna Ottawa dealers can fix requires diagnosis.

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