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Top Check Engine Light-Related Failures of 2023

For the past decade, or so, CarMD.com has been publishing a study of the most frequent failures that triggered the Check Engine Light warning, and subsequent repairs. Should your vehicle need such work, our Albuquerque auto repair shops offer full range of check engine light diagnostics and repairs.

Data for the year 2023 showed that catalytic converter replacement topped the list - naturally this is due to catalytic converter theft. Catalytic converters have no moving parts, so they are less prone to failure than mechanical devices, and computerized emission control systems "tune up" engines in real time, lowering the probability of catalytic converter damage. Unfortunately, high prices of precious metals that are used in the manufacture of catalytic converters (platinum or rhodium) make them tempting targets for thieves.  Practiced thief needs less than a minute to steal a catalytic converter that is not protected by a shield or steel cables.

Second position on the list, oxygen sensor replacement, is also a direct result of catalytic converter theft - very often thieves damage oxygen sensors when stealing the catalytic converters.

Fortunately, the rest of the items on the list are normal repairs, result of normal vehicle usage. So without further ado, here are the top 10 check engine light repairs as reported by CarMD.com:

Catalytic converter replacement – top item due to thefts, but occasionally a catalytic converter will fail, so we provide catalytic converter replacement service at all our Albuquerque locations.

Oxygen sensor replacement – most likely "collateral damage" during catalytic converter theft. Whether it was damaged by thieves, or it died on its own, our nationally ASE certified technicians can get a new oxygen sensor installed and get your car back on the road.

Ignition coil and spark plugs replacement – spark plugs need to be replaced at regular intervals, usually between 30,000 miles (copper spark plugs) and 90,000 miles (iridium spark plugs). Ignition coils can fail with age, so we also offer ignition coil replacement at all Brown's Automotive Experts locations.

Mass air flow sensor replacement – mass airflow (MAF) sensor typically has a component that is repeatedly heated to high temperature, which increases probability of material fatigue and eventual failure.

Ignition coil replacement – damaged insulation can lead to short circuits, failing alternator or voltage spikes can also damage ignition coils.

EVAP canister purge control valve replacement – purge valve allows fuel vapors to floww from Evap canister into the engine. Like any electro-mechanical part, it can fail with age, most frequent being stuck in open/partially open position.

Tighten or replace fuel cap – the only truly happy outcome of a check engine light being "on" - easy and inexpensive to repair.

ABS wheel speed sensor replacement – ABS anti-lock system is a marvel of engineering, but it does require information from the wheel sensors to function correctly. Debris or brake dust can cause the wheel sensors to malfunction.

Fuel injector replacement – fuel injectors can fail because of leaks or cracks, but can also be damaged by low quality fuel which can clog the injector.

Reprogramming powertrain control module – powertrain control module replacement usually requires reprogramming. Software updates released by the manufacturer also require reprogramming of the pcm.

So here we have the top 10 check engine light-related repairs of 2023. Please keep in mind that there are hundreds of conditions that can trigger the check engine light warning. So when your vehicle's computer illuminated the check engine light, bring your vehicle to Brown's Automotive Experts in Albuquerque, and let our highly trained technicians use their state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to find the true cause of the problem. We will send you results of the inspection, and we will let you know what it will take to get your vehicle repaired.

We offer 5 convenient locations in Albuquerque, the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Northeast Heights, Far Northeast Heights and in Rio Rancho. So if your vehicle needs service or repairs, call our friendly service advisors, or make an appointment online, on our website.

Brown's Automotive Experts is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Albuquerque (505) 345-0085, Village of los Ranchos de Albuquerque (505) 897-3532, Rio Rancho (505) 891-7971, Northeast Heights (505) 294-4900, Far Northeast Heights (505) 857-0868 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.