A few decades ago, trying to figure out what was wrong with your car was about as easy as translating hieroglyphics. Today, things have improved somewhat after the government mandated the implementation of a standardized error reporting system called OBD-II in 1996.

Now, when something is up with your car, you’ll get the ubiquitous check-engine-light error. What’s the downside? This notification doesn’t really specify the precise nature of the problem.

Fortunately, Auto Works of Brandon, a leading bmw repair specialist, says the following issues are the most common reasons for why your check engine light comes on:

Oxygen Sensor Failure
This sensor ensures that the ratio between the fuel and oxygen in your engine is balanced. If you neglect proper maintenance or use a high-ethanol gas, this key component will often fail and cause you to lose up to half of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Faulty Ignition Coils
The ignition coils send an electric spark to the spark plugs, which in turn ignites the fuel and air mixture in your engine—a necessary step in revving up your car. However, your ignition coils can fail because of age or due to high under-hood temperatures.

Broken Catalytic Converter
As Thorin Klosowski wrote for, a busted catalytic converter might also cause your check-engine signal to light up:

The catalytic convertor works to reduce exhaust gases. It converts carbon monoxide and other harmful materials into harmless compounds. If your catalytic convertor is failing, you’ll notice a decrease in gas mileage or your car won’t go any faster when you push the gas.

What causes it: Catalytic convertors shouldn’t fail if you’re keeping up on regular maintenance. The main cause of failure is related to other items on this list, including a broken oxygen sensor or deteriorated spark plugs (we’ll get to those in a second). When it fails, it stops converting carbon monoxide into less harmful emissions.

What you should do: If your catalytic convertor fails completely, you eventually won’t be able to keep the car running. Your gas mileage will also be terrible, so you should try and fix it as soon as you can.

Klosowski pointed out, though, that replacing this car part is no DYI job. If your BMW happens to experience this problem or any of the others above, it’s advisable to get BMW repair from Tampa shops that specializes in bmw repair specialist this auto brand. With their help, your beloved car can once again deliver top-notch performance—and your check engine light will finally give you a break.

(Source: The Five Most Common Causes of a Check Engine Light and What You Should Do About Them,