Shop for Car Parts and Solve These Problems Fast!

“Why is my check engine light on?” Nothing can strike fear into the core of a gearhead like a check engine light. That’s the little orange indicator among your dials and speedometer that looks a bit like a strange submarine or a very stubby helicopter. This symbol rose to popular use in the 80s, to indicate a potential problem in the engine. Even if its appearance means little to you in the moment, you’ll want to know what it might mean as it could be something quite serious and costly! This is why you need to know where to find affordable and high-quality spare parts.

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Engines are full of sensors these days, which all report to a roughly centralised electronic control unit or engine control unit (ECU). This computer is designed to monitor all sorts of goings-on in the engine, like fuel and oil pressures, temperatures, RPM, and much more. When something is not behaving as it is supposed to, the ECU lets you know with the check engine light. Most cars give you a clue as to the nature of the problem by flashing the light in certain patterns, which will be explained in the owner/service manual. Below are a few of the most common reasons that the check engine light will make an announcement, some are pretty harmless, others potentially disastrous. Nonetheless, with all of these problems, it’s essential to know where to shop for car parts, and this is where we come in!

·        Flat Battery:  Automobile batteries are designed to stay charged up as you make your way around town. Sometimes, however, they can become drained to the point where they no longer supply enough power. Most commonly, this happens if you forget to turn off your lights when parking your car, or when you use too much power playing loud music at a braai without giving the thing a good revving now and then. A low battery could be the source of your check-engine worries and will probably be one of the first things to check when help arrives.

·        Fuel Cap: One of the things being monitored by the ECU is fuel pressure, and a loose or leaky fuel cap can cause the pressure in the fuel system to deviate from the acceptable range. An easy fix, this one is like a get-out-of-towing-free card.

·        Oxygen Sensor: The ECU keeps track of the amount of oxygen in your exhaust fumes. High oxygen levels indicate inefficient combustion in the cylinders, since some of the air clearly isn’t playing its part in the explosion. The oxygen sensor tells the ECU what to do with the air and fuel mixture to achieve acceptable combustion efficiency, but sometimes the ECU can’t do enough and lets you know something is amiss. The problem is often the oxygen sensor itself becoming faulty, which is relatively easy to replace.

·        Spark Plugs: Spark plugs are crucial in petrol engines and need to be hardy enough to withstand millions of explosions, which they are responsible for igniting. It’s tough work, though, and they don’t last very long before becoming too dirty or worn to work properly. Without a spark, the cylinder will simply compress the air and fuel and then pass it into the exhaust, without doing any real work. The ECU will quickly notice the cylinder not pulling its weight and let you know you need to check the engine.

·        Vacuum Leaks: Your engine needs to control the air pressure within it. Low pressure in the intake system will pull fresh air into the engine for use in a variety of systems, not only combustion, and the mass airflow sensor is like a doorman who lets the ECU know exactly how much air is coming in. If any air hoses around the engine are leaky then air can sneak in ‘through the side door’ and mess with the carefully controlled air pressure in the engine. If the ECU finds itself dealing with more air than the mass airflow sensor is reporting, then it lets you know something is wrong.

Choose A.S.A.P Spares and Shop for Quality Car Parts

Almost all of these problems will put your car out of commission, hence the notorious reputation of that little orange logo. Even if you can still make it to the safety of your driveway, you’ll need to replace something in order to get a nicely purring motor again.

If you drive an Opel, Suzuki, Renault, Chevrolet, Citroën, or Peugeot, then you’re lucky enough to have a reservoir of affordable spare parts at A.S.A.P Spares in Pretoria West. We operate a tidy scrapyard, which you can stroll through, browsing for your car model. Our friendly team will help you get the part you need, used or new if you wish. We stock hundreds of parts for our specialist brands and will even buy your car from you if you’ve written it off, to help you get come cash back in your pocket.

With the recent withdrawal of Chevrolet from South Africa, A.S.A.P Spares is one of the few places that still provides a wide range of Chevrolet spares, and we’re also the only Citroen specialist in Gauteng.

We have an intuitive catalogue on our website that you can look through, browsing by make and model, to quickly find the part that you need at a great price. You don’t need to pay hefty prices for spares from branded dealerships! Always check with us first if you ever need a spare.