Check Engine Light
We’ve probably all had to deal with it at some point in our lives – the check engine light suddenly turning on. The check engine light is a particularly annoying automotive issue because the reason for it to light up can be any one of a number of causes, from the trivial to a serious issue requiring extensive BMW repairs and costs.
That uncertainty can lead to a feeling of helplessness, especially if you’re not familiar with the common reasons the check engine light can turn on and what it means for your BMW. Getting acquainted with some of the most likely issues will allow you to diagnose certain causes and will allow you to know when it’s necessary to bring your car in for service.
Common Reasons for the Check Engine Light
If your BMW’s check engine light is on, it’s most likely due to one of a few common issues. These issues range from something as simple as a loose gas cap to a problem with the catalytic converter. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear what the root cause for the check engine light is in all cases, but knowing these most common causes can give you a starting point. It is always best to take your car in to have it checked.
A Loose, Damaged or Missing Gas Cap
The best case scenario for your check engine light turning on is an issue with your gas cap. That’s because in some cases you simply need to tighten the gas cap, or at worst you need to replace the gas cap.
This should always be your first step if the check engine light goes on – take a look at the gas cap, tighten it securely and see if the light turns off. If you do not see an immediate change bring your vehicle in to have it checked.
Issues with the Oxygen Sensor
The oxygen sensor regulates the mix of fuel and oxygen in your engine, and over time can become compromised by an accumulation of ash. Eventually, its effectiveness decreases and the check engine light may turn on.
Please note that if the oxygen sensor is the cause of the check engine light, it’s important to get it in for service as soon as possible. Driving for prolonged stretches with a faulty oxygen sensor will do damage to your catalytic converter, which is one of the more costly auto repairs.
Problems with the Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor analyzes airflow over the engine and controls fuel levels within the engine. Air filters keep grime and debris from accumulating within the mass airflow sensor, but an improperly installed or worn out air filter won’t do its job properly. This can lead to the mass airflow sensor being damaged or compromised.
The best way to make sure you don’t run into problems with the mass airflow sensor is to make sure to replace your air filters at least once each year.
Issues with Spark Plus and Wires
The spark plug is responsible for starting the engine’s combustion, and a worn out spark plug may begin to misfire. This is a repair you want to make sooner rather than later, as a bad spark plug will lead to poor fuel economy and acceleration while also contributing to increased engine wear over time.
Issues with Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is responsible for breaking down toxic gasses within exhaust into safer compounds. Without a fully functioning catalytic converter, your BMW will experience issues ranging from poor gas mileage to sluggish acceleration, and your car will also fail any emissions test.
Replacing the catalytic converter can be price, and it represents one of the worst case scenario of a check engine light coming on. It’s worth noting that one of the most common causes of a broken catalytic converter are related to driving the car for prolonged stretches while experiencing some of the other issues we’ve discussed. Dealing promptly with the check engine light is the best way to avoid having to replace the catalytic converter.
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Diagnosing and Fixing Check Engine Light Issues
If you’re fortunate, simply tightening your gas cap may turn off the check engine light.
Otherwise, you’ll probably need to bring your BMW in for service, and your chances of escaping without a high repair bill increases if you bring the car in promptly.
Dealer Service Alternative offers service at the level of the dealership, which means we have the diagnostic tools to quickly zero in on your problem and trained technicians able to fix it and get you back out on the road as soon as possible. Our prices are more than competitive, and we specialize in BMW repairs.
If your check engine light is on, consider bringing your BMW in to Dealer Service Alternative as soon as you’re able.
This is a Great choice for anyone needing repair especially German vehicles as I have.
Today was my first day visiting Dealer Service Alternative. Instantly when I walked in their was such a positive energy in this place it felt unlike any Auto Service place that I have ever been to.
They gave me a fair price for what I felt was the service I needed as I went in for brakes and new rotors.
To my surprise when I called to check if the parts were in I was informed by Alex the mechanic and Larry Joe that I did not actually need either at this time.
Most shops I have dealt with would have seized the opportunity to capitalize on me. They did not.
These are good people and I am very comfortable recommending them to anyone. You will be happy you did
Great customer service, kelp me posted on what was going on. “Honest team of guys” at a great price. Thanks Alex and the team.
They were very professional and extremely knowledgeable, will definitely take my car again thanks to Alex and his team
I was very impressed with everyone’s help in the shop. The work was performed properly and on time. The cost was much better than the Dealership. They are very accommodating to their other customers also. I overheard Larry Joe try and walk a customer through getting into the trunk of his Mercedes after that customer had disconnected the battery (to take the battery out) and then shut the trunk accidentally with his keys in the trunk. Larry even tried to walk him through it via Skype. This to me really showed a dedication to their customers.
I’ve been a customer at DSA for almost a year now and the service has been nothing but amazing. I will go out on a limb here and say they’re by far the most honest auto shop I’ve dealt with. No harrasments, no unnecessary work will be done to your car. If it doesn’t need to change or fix they won’t do it. I can say they’re really for you and everything about them is PROFESSIONAL! I’d recommend anyone to go there.
i brought my BMW X3 in to DSA for a oil change and a noise in one of my front wheels, Larry took care of the problem at a very reasonable price and in one day. he will have my business for as long as he wants.
I had first made a appointment for 9 AM at the dealer (Fields BMW) they kept the car for the entire day and called me just before 5PM that they needed more time I asked if they at least did the oil change. but the answer was negative. I am here in Orlando on a temporary assignment from Arizona and my guess is, that Fields doesn’t care about people from out of state even when you make an appointment.
The team here was fabulous. I had a dead battery and the end of the day, drove over an hour before closing, they ordered the battery while I was on my way and 30 minutes later I was on my way, battery swapped out, everything checked diagnostically. These folks just won all my business for repair going forward. Thanks Jason and Larry for quick turn around and a great job!
Brought my Mercedes in for relatively major repairs and could not be happier with the professional and quality service provided. Both Jason and Alex kept me informed on progress as they quickly dealt with the extended warranty folks and performed the repairs.
I had my AC compressor go out and needed it fixed fast, being that it’s summer in Florida. I took it to these guys, and they were able to order the part and have the unit replaced in a day. I’ve been driving it ever since and have experienced no issues at all! Back to cold blasting air!
Went to Dealer Service Alternative for the first time to get my brake pads changed and and came out very happy with the service. They made it quick and simple and will make sure to come back for any other work on my car.
Great experience! Alex took my concerns seriously and quickly fixed my issue. The price was quite reasonable. I recommend Dealer Service Alternative!
Very helpful, friendly staff and convenient service. Thank you!
I’ve visited Dealer Service Alternative for several repair and service needs and their workmanship is on level with any service I’ve received at the BMW dealership. Top notch work.
My experience has always included great service from honest and reliable staff. Very clean and organized shop with a nice waiting area and complimentary wifi. Highly recommend this repair shop as an alternative to dealer repair shop prices.
Excellent service at a fair price, all well explained by the staff. Highly recommend it.
Great service and great price. Had a starter replaced and they did it for much better price than Fields BMW quoted.
I took my Smart here after receiving a quote from the Mercedes dealer for $2,000. They had me print out their diagnostic and took a look at my car; they were able to save me money and fix a problem that the dealer had unsuccessfully tried to fix before. I’ll definitely come back.
Got a break job done on two of my cars, one Acura TL and one TSX. There prices are very reasonable and they also give discount to college students. Will defiantly recommend them to others.
I brought in my BMW X5 for service needs; they did a great job with my car and also beat the dealer prices. The owner and his staff are wonderful to work with. They provide excellent customer service and professionalism. I highly recommend them.