Your Vehicle’s Exhaust System and the Check Engine Light

Your vehicle’s exhaust system is complex and works hard to make certain you stay within state and federal emissions standards. To ensure your vehicle’s exhaust system is operating properly, it’s important to have the system inspected and serviced per your owner’s manual maintenance schedule. We here at Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair can do that for you. In the meantime, if you do have a problem with the exhaust system, your check engine light might come on. Here’s why.

The Exhaust System Doesn’t Have Its Own Light

Your dashboard has a battery light, an oil light, and even a tire pressure light most likely, but it doesn’t have an exhaust system light. Because the system doesn’t have its own light, your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s computer will turn on the check engine light if the exhaust system sends an error code. Once the check engine turns on, it’s safest to stop driving your vehicle and call for roadside assistance.

Exhaust System Parts That Will Turn on The Check Engine Light

Any engine part that is going bad or has failed could turn on the check engine light, but some parts are more likely to set off the warning. For example, in your vehicle’s exhaust system, the catalytic converter and oxygen sensor are known to trigger a check engine light response more often than other exhaust system parts are. These two parts are the primary reason why your exhaust system will send a warning.

Why These Parts Turn on the Light

The reason why these parts turn on the check engine light has to do with your vehicle’s exhaust. The catalytic converter, which has an average lifespan of 80,000 miles, is responsible for taking the carbon monoxide your engine produces and turning it into carbon dioxide, so it can be released through the exhaust. The oxygen sensor, which lasts about 100,000 miles, measures exhaust oxygen levels.

Why It’s Important to Have Them Repaired or Replaced

As you can imagine, carbon monoxide is dangerous in any setting, but in your vehicle, the carbon monoxide can make its way into your vehicle’s cabin. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, you might not realize it has infiltrated the air inside your automobile. Carbon monoxide is also dangerous to the environment, which is why the catalytic converter switches it to carbon dioxide.

Give Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair a call if you need an exhaust system inspection or your check engine light has come on. Call us at our St. George, UT, auto shop today.

Photo by Matsou from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

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