Check Engine Light Repairs Top 10 in 2023

At South Denver Automotive we offer comprehensive auto care, including check engine light diagnostics and repairs. Check engine light (CEL) is a warning light that can come "on" for a variety of reasons; actually, hundreds of conditions can cause the onboard computer to turn on the CEL., a company that provides car owners with information about check engine light repairs, has been providing yearly studies of the top reasons for the check engine light warning. After analyzing over 15 million reports submitted in 2023, here is what they found:

1) Catalytic converter replacement – unfortunately catalytic converter thefts continue across the country, hence catalytic converter replacement is the first item on the list.

2) Oxygen sensor replacement – when thieves steal catalytic converters, they often damage other components - oxygen sensor is the most frequent "secondary victim" of the catalytic converter theft.

3) Ignition coil and spark plugs replacement – part of regular maintenance, spark plugs replacement will be necessary every 30,000 to 90,000 miles, depending on the spark plugs. Ignition coil can fail with age as well.

4) Mass air flow sensor replacement – mass airflow (MAF) sensor ended up in the 4th position - its design usually includes one wire heated to a high temperature, which over time results in material fatigue and increased likelihood of failure.

5) Ignition coil replacement - ignition coils hold the fifth spot all by themselves. They were in 3rd position with spark plugs replacement, but they can also fail on their own, due to, among other things, overheating, failing alternator or incorrect spark plug gap.

6) EVAP canister purge control valve replacement – purge valve can get stuck in the open, or partially open position. As all electro-mechanical devices, its probability of failure increases with age.

7) Tighten or replace fuel cap – easiest and least expensive check engine light-related repair.

8) ABS wheel speed sensor replacement – wheel speed sensors let the ABS computer know the rotational speed of the wheels, and allow the ABS system to calculate if the anti-lock function needs to be activated. Brake dust or other debris can clog the sensor.

9) Fuel injector replacement – fuel injectors can be clogged by low quality fuel, they can also crack and leak. Fuel injector cleaning may save the day when cracks or leaks are not the issue.

10) Reprogramming powertrain control module – powertrain control module replacement usually involves reprogramming. Sometime the software develops glitches and needs to be reprogrammed. If the manufacturer issue software update, reprogramming will be necessary as well.

As mentioned previously, the check engine light can be illuminated by hundreds of different conditions. In most cases, it takes experience and professional tools to get to the bottom of the problem. South Denver Automotive technicians use cutting-edge digital diagnostic tools and are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). They have extensive check engine light diagnostics and repair experience.  

So if your vehicle's computer illuminated the check engine light, call us for an appointment, to have your car inspected, diagnosed and repaired. Our friendly service advisors will be happy to answer your questions and can confirm appointment while on the phone. We also offer online appointments on our website, if you prefer the convenience of the web, or need to request an appointment after regular hours.


South Denver Automotive 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 South Denver Automotive (303) 756-0513 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.