Blog Car Care Advice What’s Behind the Acura Check Engine Light? (Top 6 Reasons)
Car Care Advice

What’s Behind the Acura Check Engine Light? (Top 6 Reasons)

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The Acura check engine light is a tiny yet powerful indicator that something is amiss in your car. However, rather than fearing it, it’s the key to understanding what’s going on with your car.

But don’t panic!
We’ll demystify what to do when it turns on, whether it resets itself, and more. 

This Article Contains: 

Let’s get started.

What Causes the Acura Check Engine Light to Activate

The malfunction indicator lamp or check engine light, can turn on for many reasons. Below are some of the most common:

1. Loose Gas Cap

The check engine light may be on in your Acura vehicle because the gas cap isn’t secured correctly. Most fuel caps click several times to lock in place, so it’s worth double-checking. A loose gas cap can reduce fuel pressure and allow vapors to escape, reducing fuel economy. 

Additionally, dirt and grime can work their way into your fuel tank, which may end up contaminating the injectors.

2. Faulty Oxygen Sensor (O2 Sensor)

The oxygen sensor measures the oxygen in the exhaust gas. However, the oxygen sensor can fail with time. Once this happens, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) will activate the check engine light.

Signs of a faulty oxygen sensor typically include rough idling and increased emissions, which may also mean failing an emissions inspection. 

3. Damaged Ignition Coil

The ignition coil transforms the low voltage from the battery into the higher voltage required to create a spark at the spark plug. If the ignition coil is on the fritz, you may notice reduced fuel economy, hard starting, an engine misfire, and a lit check engine light.

4. Faulty Spark Plug

Spark plugs emit electricity to ignite the air-fuel mixture that gets your engine running. Your engine will detect when the spark plugs aren’t firing correctly and activate the check engine light. 

Faulty spark plugs can also lead to unburned fuel working its way into the emissions system, which can cause a misfiring engine. Some other telltale signs of a faulty spark plug include higher fuel consumption, lack of acceleration, and trouble starting.

5. Bad Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter has a pivotal role in minimizing harmful emissions. 

Besides triggering the check engine light, a bad catalytic converter can reduce engine performance and fuel efficiency, and your Acura will likely fail an emissions inspection. You may also notice black smoke from the exhaust pipe.

6. Defective Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)

The mass airflow sensor (MAF) measures the air flowing into the intake manifold, which is crucial to ensuring the correct air-fuel ratio. Aside from a lit check engine light, a failing MAF sensor can lead to rough idling, stalling, and engine misfire.

Next, let’s see what you should do if your Acura check engine light activates. 

What to Do if Your Acura Check Engine Light Turns On?

The malfunction indicator lamp may activate depending on the severity of the issue. Here’s what you should do on a case-by-case basis, starting with understanding the warning light: 

A. Check Engine Light Illuminates Under Certain Conditions

If the check engine light only activates occasionally, it suggests the problem is intermittent or a part is on the verge of failing. Pay attention to the car’s performance while the light is on and note any changes. 

Regardless of the underlying issue, booking an Acura service with a trained mechanic is worthwhile to catch the problem before it worsens.

B. The Check Engine Light Is Constantly On

When the engine warning light is on constantly, it could mean that your vehicle has detected a fault in one of the parts that needs replacing. Your vehicle may still sound okay, but ignoring this light could lead to a more severe issue.

The best thing to do is book a service to diagnose the check engine light codes.

A flashing check engine light requires immediate attention. The flashing light indicates something serious has gone wrong, and you should pull over as soon as possible

If you continue driving with a flashing check engine light, you risk causing significant damage to internal engine components.

But will the engine light go off on its own or do you need to reset the engine code?
We’ll answer that next. 

Will the Check Engine Light Reset Itself?

The check engine light should automatically reset once you resolve the underlying issue. You may also use an OBD II scanner to rest the diagnostic trouble code

If you don’t have an OBD II scanner, you can manually try resetting the code by disconnecting the negative terminal on the battery — indicated by the black cap and the negative (-) sign.

Wondering how much an Acura check engine light diagnosis costs?
Read on to find out.

How Much Does it Cost to Get an Acura Check Engine Light Diagnosed?

Diagnosing a check engine light in an Acura vehicle should cost between $86 and $154. However, the actual cost of the Acura service will depend on the faulty part. 

Here are some replacement cost estimates:

Wrapping Up

A check engine light demands immediate attention, signaling something is wrong with the engine or emissions system. Ignoring the warning light and trouble code can lead to a misfiring engine and expensive repairs. Plus, promptly booking an Acura service with a qualified mechanic can help avoid causing severe damage to the vehicle’s engine. 

So, why not have AutoNation Mobile Service take care of the engine code directly from your driveway?
Our mobile mechanics will tackle the Acura check engine light codes from wherever you are. We also offer a 12-month | 12,000-mile warranty on all services.

Fill out this form for an accurate engine light diagnosis estimate.