Chances are that you’ve had your check engine light issue fixed BUT the light is still on! And it’s getting on your nerves. Maybe it cost you a fortune.

So why is the light still on?

Here’s something you probably don’t know: after clearing the car’s computer you will need to drive for about 50 to 100 miles.

As you drive your car the computer will monitor all the sensors and register the results.

You can use GOFAR to constantly monitor your car diagnostics. Get a Diagnostics App.

Here are the details:

System StatusExplanation
READYThe Check Engine Light didn’t come on. The system is working properly. Hooray!
NOT READYYour car hasn’t been driven long enough after resetting the codes.
Solution: Keep driving until the system indicates a READY condition.
NOT APPLICABLEYour car doesn't support that status monitor. Simply ignore it.

But hang on a minute, there are other important things to keep in mind. So let’s take a closer look.

What Causes the Check Engine Light to Come On?

To begin with, there are many vital components in your car and if any fail they can cause the Check Engine Light to come on.

Surprisingly enough it could be something as simple as not tightening a loose gas cap after refuelling! Sounds silly? But it’s not.

Sometimes, it could be a faulty car part that that has triggered the check engine light. Some of the common car parts that may cause the check engine light to come on are:

  • Faulty catalytic converter
  • Faulty ignition coil
  • Bad spark plugs and wires
  • Faulty oxygen sensor
  • Faulty mass air flow sensor
  • Faulty charging system

You can read more about each of these faults and what to do about it on the Check Engine Light page.

Careful: quite often, a faulty sensor could be the cause for your check engine light to be on.

And if you are not careful you could end up spending a lot of money on an expensive car part, only to find out later on that the issue was a faulty sensor.

Sound familiar?

Naturally, when your car has an issue you take it to the mechanic for repair. And that’s understandable.

But here’s the problem: how many times have you been surprised by the news that your car needs an expensive repair while at the repair shop?

What if you could personally check out your car’s problem before going to the mechanic? To always be a step ahead of your mechanic. To actually check if the mechanic is telling the truth?

Here’s the kicker: you can read your car’s trouble codes yourself with GOFAR, a handy diagnostic code scanner that plugs in under the vehicle dashboard.

Understanding Your Car’s Diagnostic Codes

Credit:Fancycrave

Sensors Can Erroneously Trip

Your car’s computer constantly keeps a record of all the problematic diagnostic codes reported by the sensors.

Here’s a little background about how the sensors work.

  • The computer can only know there’s a problem or a unit is failing when a sensor reports the issue
  • Each sensor reports a specific code
  • If the computer has an error code stored, the check engine light comes on to alert you
  • Each trouble code reported to the computer is registered uniquely and tied to the sensor that reported it.

When a sensor reports a faulty device the check engine light will come on. Even if it is the sensor itself that’s faulty, the light will still come on

The fact is your car has sensors for many components. Sometimes a sensor will fail or get stuck and report a bad code. If your mechanic is honest enough he will tell you that because replacing a bad sensor is very affordable.

Related: Car Warning Lights Resource Centre

To determine whether the sensor is faulty, you can run a little experiment. Clear the codes from your computer and watch to see if the check engine light comes back on.

But a smarter move would be to do your own engine diagnostics using GOFAR, an affordable OBD code scanner that reports over 300 common car faults in plain English.

That way, you will discover why your check engine light is on. Now, let’s look at GOFAR in detail, ready?

GOFAR Diagnostic Code Scanner

While at the mechanic, you may have noticed him plugging in a code scanner under the dashboard to read the engine trouble codes from the car’s computer.

Don’t you think it would be great to be able to know what error codes the computer is reporting regarding the check engine light before going to the repair shop?

It is totally doable!

You can get your very own code diagnostic scanner. But not just any scanner – most of them report in tech jargon which can be overwhelming if you’re not a technical person.

All you want is your car’s faults explained in plain English, right? GOFAR does exactly that and more!

Here’s how GOFAR, your little car buddy, will make your life a lot easier:

  1. Alerts you when your car is sick via the app on your phone. The severity of the car error is explained too.
  2. You’ll deal with mechanics knowledgeably because GOFAR explains the 300 most common car problems in plain English.
  3. You can set reminders so you never forget your car’s important appointments. So, you stay covered, stay safe, and avoid fines.
  4. GOFAR Bonus: A little device that helps you save money on fuel!

If you have a 1996 or newer car model, then GOFAR will work just fine on your car. If in doubt, just run a quick compatibility test.

We bet you’re pretty excited and ready to start enjoying all these awesome benefits. So, snap up your very own GOFAR right away!

Why it’s Worth Getting a GOFAR

First off, here’s what customers are saying about GOFAR.

Next, watch this video to learn the benefits you’ll reap when you own GOFAR.

Easy and Convenient Car Servicing

How to Read Your GOFAR

Step 1: Download the App

The GOFAR app is available on Google Play and App Store. The app is the window to your car’s efficiency, performance, and health.

Once you download the app, it will take you through the setup process with nice, clear pictures – takes a few minutes.

Step 2: Plug in the Adapter

Plug the adapter into the car’s diagnostic port located at the dash. It’s as easy as plugging in a power cord.

Step 3: Attach Ray to the dashboard

Once you place the ray on the dash, connect it with the adapter using the thin custom cable. It’s as easy as plugging in headphones.

Voila! You’re all installed!

Henceforth, you will receive alerts on your phone when there’s a problem on your car. Every 2 seconds GOFAR will monitor your car so you save on fuel, tax, and servicing.

Watch this video to get a broader overview on GOFAR, your car’s little buddy.

How It Works

How to Determine If There’s Really an Engine Problem.

As you now know, a faulty sensor can cause the check engine light to come on.

Since there’s no way to know right away if the cause is a faulty sensor you will need to erase the codes and then see if it comes back on after some time.

If the light comes back on, you’ll need to follow a few more steps to determine whether the issue is a faulty sensor or one of the many causes for a check engine light to come on, for instance, a faulty catalytic converter.

On clearing the codes with the “Erase Codes” function, the system status changes to “Not Ready”.

Drive for 50 to 100 miles (80 to 160 km). Take several individual trips until the system reads the status of all the components once more.

“Several trips” means you shut off the engine and start another trip each time. Therefore, it’s not just 100 miles in one trip. It’s more like doing three trips of about 30 miles each.

Afterwards, connect the scanner again and read the System Status to see if the “Not Ready” condition has been erased.

Diagnosing the Problem

After you reset the codes, either of these two things will happen:

  • If the “Not Ready” status becomes “Ready” and the check engine light did not come back on, then the problem may have been an intermittent faulty sensor.
  • If the check engine light does come back on then the scanner will show you that bad code again. That would indicate you do indeed have a component failure as specified by the code. In that case, at least you’ll know you will be spending money to fix a real problem.

Note that when you turn on the ignition without starting the engine, all the panel lights light up temporarily as a test to see that they are all working.

Let’s Wrap Up

It’s now clear that your check engine light will turn off if you identify the cause of the error and address it.

Sometimes it’s just a faulty sensor that needs to be replaced and the light will go off after some time. And sometimes it could be a faulty part.

Are you sick and tired of the guesswork? And want to be sure what the engine warning light is telling you? GOFAR provides a reliable, safe and affordable solution.

Install GOFAR in your car to receive plain English error codes on over 300 common issues with your car.

You can check whether your car is compliant or learn more about understanding your car engine warning lights on the spot.

Business travel expense deductions, like mileage reimbursement, can be especially relevant to US-based taxpayers who own their own business, work as a freelancer or contractor, or who travel a lot for work.

Working out what you can and can’t deduct can be quite complex and depends on many qualifying factors.

Read on for an explanation of the key things to keep in mind when working out your deductions for work-related travel.

If you drive for charitable organizations, medical reasons or business, then you need to read through the IRS 2018 Standard Mileage Rates (SMR) for the purposes of mileage deduction.

You stand to save a lot of money on your taxes if you fully understand the allowable deductions.

Starting January 1, 2018, the SMR for car use is as follows:

Category2017 Rate/mile driven2018 Rate/mile driven
Miles Driven for Business53.5 Cents54.5 Cents
Miles Driven for Medical Purposes17 Cents18 Cents
Miles Driven for Charitable Organizations14 cents

While the SMR for a business is derived by studying both the variable and fixed costs of running a vehicle, the SMR for medical purposes is based only on the variable costs.

Note: Mileage deductions are only allowable if you use your personal car for charitable, medical and business purposes.

When you drive for the same purposes using a vehicle that was purchased for the same cause, then mileage deduction is not allowable.

Standard Mileage Rate for Business

  • SMR does not apply to an employee who commutes to his regular place of work
  • SMR for business is allowable for self-employed people who drive for activities directly related to business e.g. meeting a client or attending a trade seminar.
  • Employees who incurred driving expenses when travelling outside their regular office in 2017 and were not reimbursed are allowed to file their mileage deductions from their 2017 taxes.
  • Any unreimbursed mileage for the year 2018 through to 2025 are not allowable under the new 2018 tax law.

Standard Mileage Rate for Medical Purposes

  • If you drive to receive medical care, you can claim the mileage. This includes miles driven for both your spouse and children.
  • The medical mileage deduction is added to your total medical claims, which means it will be part of your allowable medical expenses. Medical mileage deduction will only be an allowable expense if your total medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
  • To make your tax deductions easier to compute, itemize your expenses.

Standard Mileage Rate for Charitable Organizations

All the miles covered on behalf of a charity organization recognized under 501 (c) (3) are allowable mileage deductions.

Claiming Mileage

  • Multiply the total business drives by the applicable rate for the year
  • Add the toll and parking expenses
  • Add up your total commute miles as well as your personal commute miles for the year
  • Fill out your Schedule C. Your mileage deductions will go on Line 9 while your total mileage will go on Line 44 of Part IV.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will need; your start reading on the odometer, your commuting miles, and your non commuting miles.

What is a Mileage Reimbursement?

Mileage reimbursement occurs when a client or an employer pays you a certain amount of money for driving certain number of miles.

Mileage reimbursement is not to be confused with mileage deduction which occurs when you write off miles driven on behalf of the business against your annual taxes.

While clients and employers give you mileage reimbursement for the miles covered to attract talented workers, it is not a requirement of the IRS.

In short, the mileage reimbursement is a prerogative of your client or employer.

As long as you can substantiate the number of miles covered on behalf of the business, the IRS does not put a cap on the number of mileage reimbursement you can get.

Avoid raising the red flag by claiming a round number of miles, claiming 100% of the miles covered for the business and claiming inconsistent number of miles over years.

Claiming Parking and Tolls

As long as you have compliant records, all business related toll and parking expenses are allowable deductions.

Claiming General Vehicle Expenses

While the SMR has a lot of allowable vehicle expenses, not all of them can be deducted. You can claim;

  • Interest charged by financial institutions on the car loan
  • Personal Property tax paid upon buying a vehicle

Recording the Miles for Tax Purposes

With SMR, you don’t need to keep a lot of records. All you are required to have is to get the total miles covered on behalf of the business and the total miles covered.

Other expenses such as repairs and maintenance are not required in the SMR method of mileage deduction since a rate has already been computed.

Mileage computing can be tedious and IRS need them pretty detailed.

To ensure you are logging the miles properly, use an affordable yet clever little tool such as GOFAR and your compliance with IRS requirements will never be in question.

Standard Mileage Rate for Moving

If you are relocating for business purposes, your mileage is an allowable deduction. However, this deduction is subject to;

  • You move at least 50 miles
  • Work full-time for 39 weeks out of 12 months after you move

If you satisfy the two conditions then you can claim 23 cents for every mile covered. Note that the above conditions does not include those who are moving out of a military order.

IRS Commuting Takeaways

According to IRS, your commute is the miles covered between your home and your place of work. In this case, your home is the place you live.

For tax deduction purposes;

  • The trip between where you live and where you work is not an allowable deduction
  • The trip between where you live and the temporary work site is an allowed deduction as long as your main place of work is at a different location.
  • A commute between home and your second job is not an allowed deduction if you took a day off from your main job.
  • A commute between your regular place of work and a temporary job is an allowed deduction.
  • A commute between your main job and your second job is an allowed deduction.
  • A commute between your temporary job and your second job is an allowed deduction
  • You can turn many commute drives into business drives by having a home office.

To figure out what type of commuting is tax-deductible, always observe this rules;

  • Any type of commuting is not deductible unless in the above conditions
  • Even if you work during the trip, the commute is still not deductible
  • A commute between home and temporary work site is deductible
  • You can nullify the commuting rule above if you have a qualified home office

Restrictions to SMR

  • If you do not use the SMR mileage deduction method, your only option will be the Actual Expense Method (AE) which involves tracking actual expenses incurred while driving for business.
  • You are required to use the SMR method during the first year that you use the car to drive on behalf of the business, otherwise you are stuck with AE method.
  • Once you have used the SMR method in the first year, you can switch between the methods, but this is subject to some restrictions. However, this condition allows you to use the method that gives you the most benefits.
  • If you use SMR method, you cannot deduct the actual expenses of running the car.
  • Depreciation is part of the SMR and hence even if you feel that it ought to be higher for tax purposes, you are stuck with the rate.
  • It is important to note that the rates discussed will start to operate for the tax year 2018. This means that the returns you will file in 2019 will operate under this taxation regime.

GOFAR is an award-winning Engine Control Unit (ECU) monitoring device. The device is used to analyze fuel consumption patterns by detecting mechanical problems way before they become problems.

The invention is also used as a mileage tracker to help you with your tax deductions. With GOFAR, you never have to create a manual log again!

  • Looking for an easy 12-week ATO Logbook Tracking solution? Click here.

This revolutionary product was recently featured on Forbes for helping drives save up to 30% of both mechanical and fuel expenses.

The company that manufactures GOFAR keeps organizing clients’ workshops to train them on technology and competitor research.

It keeps the customers in the loop by introducing the device’s unique selling points.

How does GOFAR work as a mileage tracker?

  • Saves Time – The device comes with automatic mileage tracker functionality that is connected to your smartphone to display the miles covered. This mileage can be exported as an excel sheet. You don’t need to do manual logging anymore.
  • Saves Repair Expenses – The device sends alerts to your smartphone every time an engine fault is detected on your vehicle’s engine.
  • Saves Fuel – Drivers have a real-time display of their fuel consumption.
  • Compact Design – Of all the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD2) devices available in the automotive industry, the GOFAR is among the smallest and can, therefore, be conveniently installed on any vehicle.
  • Compatibility – The device comes with free iOS and Android apps. It can work on diesel, gasoline and hybrid car that was built after 1996.

Key Features of GOFAR

In the modern world, things work better when they are connected. GOFAR acts as a link between you and your car, thereby helping you save both time and money.

Below are the three crucial GOFAR parts that help with the connection;

  • The GOFAR Adapter – The adapter connects into your vehicle’s diagnostic port. Although the adapter is small, it comes with advanced sensors that automatically collect your car’s mileage.
  • The Feedback Ray – This gives you real-time data about your trips. If you manage to keep the Ray’s LED blue, you are guaranteed to save at least 20 cents per gallon of fuel bought. If it turns red, you are wasting money.
  • The GOFAR App – This app continuously monitors your car’s engine and mechanical operations and immediately sends an alert if it detects a fault. It also allows you to swipe to tag the trips undertaken on behalf of the business to help you separate company and personal journeys, making it an impressive mileage tracker. Remember that business trips are a permitted deduction expense when filing your tax returns, so use the GOFAR app’s mileage tracker to its fullest!
  • 6 Axis Motion Sensors – central to precision energy consumption tracking are the three gyroscopes and three accelerometers.
  • Flash Memory – Sometimes you may disconnect your phone from the dongle and forget to reconnect it. In such circumstances, all your trip data is stored in the flash memory so that when you reconnect your phone, you can retrieve the data about your trips.
  • Cloud Backup – For data redundancy, the GOFAR sends your car data to a cloud of your choice. You can, therefore, retrieve your car’s data in case of an accident or car theft.
  • Light Sensor – This adjusts the light on the Ray to match the ambience in your car. You will never fail to see the red or blue light on the Ray regardless of whether you are driving during the night or day.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy Capability – This allows easy pairing with your smartphone for seamless data sync.
  • Multi OBD Support – GOFAR supports all the 5 OBD protocols to offer the broadest possible compatibility with other devices.
    GOFAR also serves as a really good mileage tracker.

How Does GOFAR Solve Your Problems?

Simplify Tracking Your Business Expenses with a Mileage Tracker

You can track the distance covered, the fuel cost and the number of trips that are done. The GOFAR’s app helps you as a mileage tracker in real time, thereby reducing the hassle associated with expenses claims by your drivers.

It also provides the proof needed by tax authorities when deducting your expenses for tax purposes.

Car Health Check and Monitoring

The GOFAR car diagnostics will translate the technical jargon into plain English to help you resolve your car’s problems. It enables you to avoid the tricks used by mechanics to charge you more for a small problem.

Sometimes, you can even fix the problem yourself if you have basic mechanical skills.

Always pay attention to the “Check Engine” Light as it will help you troubleshoot small engine issues before they become significant problems.

Spend Less

Whether it is fuel or repair costs, GOFAR will help you spend less. The device find’s your engine’s sweet spot, thus giving you real-time feedback on how your driving habits are costing you money.

With the device, you can run test drives using different styles to know which method is the most cost-efficient. How would you love to cut your transport cost by even 10%?

Imagine what you can do with an extra 100 bucks every month, saved from your car’s fuel and repair expenses?

Click here to learn how to increase your gas mileage and save up to 30%* on fuel costs each year.

Easy Servicing

Troubleshooting a problem you know is way more comfortable than shooting in the dark. GOFAR helps you determine your car’s problem before you start troubleshooting and this saves both time and money.

More about the GOFAR Company

GOFAR is a creation of an Australian startup that was founded by an aerospace engineer, Danny Adams.

The company’s innovation was deceptively simple, but the technology behind it was bound to change how people drive.

GOFAR is a device built to give real-time safety, efficiency and performance.

Given that experts estimate that between a fifth and a quarter of the fuel bought for the car goes to waste, Danny Adams and his team went into overdrive to launch a product that would not only save the fuel but also help business people track their transport expenses more efficiently.

Today, the device’s real-time feedback has helped change inefficient driving habits, which translates into less money going into repairs and fuel.

GOFAR Description

The device comes with a small dongle that snugly plugs into a car’s diagnostics port and a sleek unit that is fitted on to your car’s dashboard.

Another feature of the product is a smartphone application that gives the user a detailed breakdown of his driving habits over a period.

For its driving efficiency technology, GOFAR comes with;

  • Six-axis motion sensors
  • Three accelerometers to measure the vehicle’s speed
  • Three gyroscopes to measure energy consumption
  • BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) connectivity
  • No external energy sources since it uses the internal car power.

The GOFAR analytics tool gives you data such as;

  • Fuel usage
  • Number of trips undertaken
  • Cost of each trip
  • Type of fuel consumed and its impact on the total cost of operating the car
  • The braking energy cost and many more.

GOFAR is such an intelligent device that after a few trips using it, it will learn your driving style and come up with your driving signature.

After it comes up with the signature, the device can tell when you are not alert and thus warn you when you need rest or a healthy dose of black coffee.

For fleet operators, you can use the GOFAR device to measure which driver has the best performance regarding fuel efficiency or mileage covered and give incentives to the said drivers to encourage others to be more efficient.

The GOFAR technology tracks the competing energies in the physics of driving which includes;

  • Chemical energy that is derived from burning fuel
  • Kinetic energy that is derived from the continuous propulsion of a moving object
  • Energy lost due to aerodynamic drag
  • Energy lost due to constant braking

In Conclusion

After analyzing all the above factors, the device gives feedback to the driver so that he can adopt a driving style that will see the least loss of energy which will result in reduced costs of operating the vehicle.

You’re driving, when suddenly the dreadful yellow-orange Check Engine Light comes on!

What should you do? Click to learn about GOFAR

Keep driving or pull over?

It can be confusing. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Check engine light is flashing.
The check engine light is typically a yellow or red engine shaped icon situated in the middle of your vehicle dashboard, behind the driving wheel. If it’s flashing for more than 6 seconds, that is potentially an emergency situation.

Step 2: Stop driving. Safely pull over.
Slow down, pull over to the kerb and stop. This will give you time to check on the problem. Otherwise, you risk damaging your car.

Step 3: Diagnose the issue with a diagnostic app
If the check engine light is on and steady (not flashing), you can keep driving as long as the car isn’t performing strangely. How is it handling? Driving straight or wonky? Do you hear any strange sounds from the engine bay? Can you see any steam or smoke coming from the car? Use your hands, eyes, ears and nose to assess whether there is something unusual happening with your car.

Step 4: Fix the problem. Decide whether to install an OBD2 diagnostics device or visit a mechanic.
An OBD2 scanner is able to diagnose the car warning light problem and alert you to future issues. A diagnostics tool, such as GOFAR (view full feature list), can be used by anyone, not just a mechanic. GOFAR comes pre-loaded with 20,000+ error codes and tells you, in non-technical terms, what the issue is with your vehicle.

Get GOFAR Now! – It’s like having a mechanic in your pocket.

Why is your Check Engine Light Flashing?

Let’s dig a little deeper into why your dashboard warning lights are on …

Check Engine Light on Car Dashboard
View all Car Warning Light Symbols and Indicators

Every car has an assortment of car warning lights on the dashboard and they all have a different meaning. The check engine light is easily identified. It looks like an engine and typically includes words such as “check.” Usually yellow or red.

It’s main function is to let you, as the driver, know that one of the car’s sensors is not functioning correctly. The check engine light will either be in a solid unblinking state or flashing.

Whenever you start your car you’ll notice that the check engine light glows temporarily – usually for around six seconds.

Every error light has a corresponding error code. These are diagnosed, and explained, by an OBD2 Scanner.

The cost for an OBD2 scanner ranges from a few dollars to hundreds. You can buy a quality scanner online.

Don’t Trust Your Mechanic? Get help here

What Could Cause Your Check Engine Light to Come On?

The Check Engine Light, also called the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) is a warning light (sometimes called a tell-tale) that indicates a malfunction with your vehicle (as detected by your car’s computerised engine-management system).

When something goes wrong in this complex collection of components and sensors, it triggers this light.

It’s usually displayed on your dashboard as a pictogram or symbol of an engine, or sometimes simply CHECK ENGINE, or CHECK ENGINE SOON.

Did You Know? – When you start the car, the check engine light always comes on. But if no problems are detected, it should turn off within 6 seconds.

When the check engine light does stay on… Don’t. Panic.

Check whether your car is behaving differently. Is it bucking, surging, or making unusual sounds?

If you observe nothing strangely unusual, you could keep driving to your nearest car dealership or repair centre.

The warning light usually has 2 stages:

  1. Steady (indicating a minor fault); and
  2. Flashing (indicating a severe fault).

When the light is on, the engine control unit actually stores a fault code related to the malfunction, which can be read and interpreted by an On-Board-Diagnostics or OBD2 scan tool.

All cars built in the US after 1996, in Australia after 2006 (petrol) and 2007 (diesel), in Canada after 1998, and in the UK and Europe after 2001 (petrol) and 2004 (diesel), are OBD2-compliant.

GOFAR Alerts
GOFAR diagnoses your car faults. Try it now.

Your mechanic will then read the generated fault codes on your car’s computer using a scan tool and recommend the necessary repairs or parts required to rectify the problem/s… and bill you for the cost, of course.

The thing is, this warning light can indicate almost anything from a loose fuel cap to a (far more serious) engine knock.

OR… You could stay one step ahead of your mechanic and use GOFAR to self-diagnose your car’s fault codes and immediately understand the severity of the fault.

GOFAR explains more than 300 common error codes in plain, simple English.

No confusing acronyms, no technical jargon, no obscure references that only automotive engineers can decipher. Just an easy-to-understand explanation of what your car’s computer is trying to tell you is wrong.

Most Common Causes for the Check Engine Light to Come on

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The Oxygen Sensor measures the amount of oxygen in your exhaust system. It then communicates this information to your car’s computer so that it can adjust the engine’s air and fuel mixture.

When your oxygen sensor is faulty, your car will use up more fuel and produce more emissions.

A faulty oxygen sensor is not an alarming problem, but get your mechanic fix it as soon as is convenient.

Faulty Gas Cap / Fuel Cap

A cracked, faulty or loose gas cap / fuel cap can cause your engine light to come on – mainly because the fuel system has a vapour leak.

In other cases, it could be a more serious leak in the upper portion of the fuel system.

Tighten or replace the gas cap, then keep driving. After driving for a while, the check engine light should go off. if it doesn’t, it may be time to ask your mechanic to check it out.

Failed Catalytic Converter

A Catalytic Converter controls emissions in your car’s exhaust system. It converts carbon monoxide and other harmful gases into less harmful byproducts.

If your catalytic converter is failing, you’ll spend more money on fuel and your car’s performance will be impacted.

A catalytic converter is generally an expensive car part, costing around $500-$1,000 each. And some cars have four of them!

Therefore, if it is the cause for your car check engine light to come on, get a mechanic to check it out. Do not attempt to drive any further as you could cause costly damage to your car.

GOFAR screenshots car health
Fix Your Car Warning Light. GOFAR will diagnose the problem.

Faulty Mass Airflow (MAF) Sensor

The Mass Airflow Sensor or MAF Sensor helps your car’s computer determine the amount of fuel to be added based on the amount of air coming into the motor.

A common cause of MAF sensor failures is a dirty air filter or one that’s not properly installed.

A MAF sensor failure is not an emergency. However, until you have it replaced, you will experience a decrease in fuel economy, poor car performance, and rough engine idle.

Since your car’s air intake system is quite technical, get a professional mechanic to fix a faulty mass air flow sensor.

Faulty Spark Plugs

Do you replace your vehicle’s spark plugs according to your car’s maintenance schedule in your manual? If you’re not sure, check with your service provider.

Faulty Spark Plug
Faulty Spark Plug

If not, bad or failing spark plugs could be the reason your check engine light is on. Have them replaced as soon as possible by a certified mechanic.

Faulty Ignition Coil

The Ignition Coil is part of your vehicle’s ignition system.

It functions as an induction coil by converting a vehicle’s voltage to the required volts so that it triggers the spark plug to ignite the engine’s air-fuel mixture.

Faulty Ignition Coil
Faulty Ignition Coil

When the ignition coil burns or shorts, the check engine light will come on.

If the ignition coil is faulty, it is worth getting your entire vehicle’s ignition system checked by a mechanic or auto-electrician.

Faulty Charging System

Unless you want to find yourself in a situation where you need to jump start your car, ensure you have your battery checked regularly and that the charging system is working smoothly.

If your car won’t start, the problem could be a fault with the alternator or some other part of the vehicle’s electrical charging system.

How Urgent is the Check Engine Light?

There are several reasons why a Check Engine Light may come on. Whether it’s something as minor as a loose gas cap or something more serious like a failed catalytic converter, it should be checked out and fixed.

Let’s look at the urgency levels in more detail…

Flashing Check Engine Light

The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire.

If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.

Don’t risk that expense – have your car towed to a certified mechanic for repair.

Steady Check Engine Light

It’s okay to drive the car if the check engine light is steady. But only if the vehicle’s essential systems such as brakes and lights are operational.

Keep a close eye on your car’s dashboard warning lights, including the coolant temperature and oil pressure.

You can also use an OBD2 Reader (also called a OBDII Scanner) such as GOFAR to erase the fault codes and reset the check engine light.

Warning: Do not ignore the issue if it is serious. Take your car as soon as possible to a certified professional for proper diagnosis and repair.

Can the Engine Light Go Off On Its Own?

Until the cause of the Check Engine Light coming on is addressed, it will remain on.

Once the error codes from your vehicle’s computer are addressed and cleared from its memory, the Check Engine Light will go off, as long as there are no more failures that would turn the light back on and trigger another warning code.

How do You Diagnose Car Check Engine Light Warnings?

If you don’t know the exact reason why your Check Engine Light is on, then it can be very difficult to immediately determine if it’s safe enough for you to drive or not.

The good news is that an OBD Code Reader like GOFAR is a cheap and easy way to self-diagnose your car’s common errors.

Can you drive if the check engine light is on?
Self-diagnose car problems with GOFAR

GOFAR constantly monitors your car’s health and instantly alerts you to any problems it detects.

Right on your smartphone.

Explained in plain English – what the car warning light means, its severity and what you should do about it… before it becomes expensive.

Protecting your precious asset 24-7-365, whether it cost you $10,000 or $100,000, has never been more cost-effective.

Car Diagnostics In 2019 And Beyond

As we move beyond 2019 and further into the 2020s, cars are becoming increasingly smarter as connectivity and the Internet of Things change the way the automotive industry adapts to these innovations.

Vehicle maintenance is becoming increasingly defined by concepts such as remote diagnostics and even predictive diagnostics (or prognostics, as opposed to traditional diagnostics) – made possible by emerging tech like artificial intelligence and deep learning neural networks.

Industry research forecasts that the global automotive remote diagnostics market will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of almost 17% from 2017 to 2021.

Having access to your car’s ‘brain’ (called an ECU or ECM) through affordable tools such as GOFAR is an easy way to take advantage of all this innovation without having to spend thousands on expensive equipment or understand the increasing complexity of your vehicles.

In conclusion

Don’t let the Check Engine Light make you panic and ruin your drive to work.

Just remember:

  • When the check engine light is flashing, it’s an emergency and you need to safely pull over and then tow your car to the mechanic.
  • Learn about car warning lights in our resource centre.
  • When the light is solid/steady, you can keep driving but use a leave-in OBD2 scanner like GOFAR to identify the issue.

Related: Car Warning Lights Resource Centre

You’re on the road enjoying your drive. It’s a beautiful day. No traffic, fantastic weather, even your favourite music is playing on the radio. BLISS. Then, out of the blue, an orange-red glow from the check engine light on your car dashboard catches your eye. Panic. Paranoia. Perfect day RUINED.

What are you going to do?

Here’s some expert tips on what can cause a check engine light to come on and how to fix it.

Your Gas Cap May Be Faulty

Most drivers aren’t aware of the fact that a faulty gas cap can cause the check engine light to come on. If the gas cap is loose, cracked, or faulty in any other way, it can cause fuel to evaporate. That triggers a faulty sensor and causes the check engine light to come on.

How to fix a faulty gas cap?

Pull over at the next safe stop and check that your gas cap is on and tight. In case the gas cap is cracked, have it replaced immediately.

If a faulty gas cap was the reason your engine light came on, then the engine light will go off once you keep driving for a few miles.

Diagnose Easily With GOFAR

If you prefer to cut the guesswork and avoid a potentially expensive trip to the mechanic – there is an easier – and cheaper – solution.

GOFAR is a self-diagnostic tool that alerts you when your car’s got a problem. GOFAR explains the issue in plain English so you now what you’re dealing with BEFORE you go to your mechanic.

How to monitor your car’s health every 2 seconds?

Install GOFAR in your car’s OBD2 diagnostic port – it takes just minutes and no technical knowledge is needed. Start getting real-time updates on any fault in your car in simple, plain English. No more tech jargon.

Check Engine Light – most cases

The good news is that it’s not always a disaster when the check engine light comes on. In most cases, when the check engine light is on but solid (not blinking) it may just be an alert that all is not well with your car.

How to fix the solid check engine light?

You can keep driving for a while until you can get to a mechanic. But don’t ignore it or forget to have your car checked as soon as convenient.

Related: Car Warning Lights Resource Centre

Check Engine Light – Emergency

Unlike the solid/steady check engine light, a blinking/flashing light means that there’s a serious problem with your car. In most cases, it’s the catalytic converter that has been damaged. Driving any further can be catastrophic.

How to fix a flashing check engine light?

Safely pull over as soon as possible. Shut the car engine off. Have your car towed to your trusted car diagnostic and repair facility – aka your mechanic.

Failed Ignition Coil

A faulty ignition coil hinders the efficient performance of the car engine. Faults such as misfires can trip the car’s computer and trigger the check engine light.

Also, when the computer detects a coil burn out or shorts it will trigger the check engine light to come on.

How to fix a failed Ignition Coil?

This is a serious problem that needs professional expertise. So, take your car to a certified mechanic as soon as possible.

Failed Fuel Injector

The fuel injector delivers fuel to the combustion chamber of your car’s engine at a controlled rate and in the right amounts. So, when the fuel injector fails, your car’s engine performance is greatly affected and can fail.

Any slight misfire may trigger on the check engine light. The misfire codes will vary depending on which fuel injectors are affected. And you can easily read them in plain English using GOFAR.

Other signs of a failed fuel injector include:

  • Abrupt loss of engine power: the fuel injector is clogged leading to an irregular supply of fuel.
  • Engine misfire due to the clogged fuel injector. This can cause the engine to overheat or pre-ignite the fuel mixture.
  • Persistent irregular fuel supply to the engine even when the engine idles. Instead of a smooth engine idle, it will be rough and irregular.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency due to leaking fuel or excessive fuel supply when the internal springs are damaged.

How to Fix Bad Fuel Injectors?

Since injectors (and engines) can be complicated and expensive to repair, it is advisable to have your car checked by a certified mechanic.

A faulty fuel injector can be repaired depending on the damage extent and age. Otherwise, you may need to buy a new one.

Bad or Failing Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are critical components of your vehicle. They transmit an electrical signal from the ignition coil to create a spark that ignites the combustion chamber.

Spark plugs are also responsible for the efficient burning of fuel. However, when faulty they can trigger the check engine light.

Other signs of failing spark plugs are:

  • Slow acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Engine is misfiring
  • Difficulty in starting your car

How to fix failing/bad spark plugs?

Spark plugs require regular service and maintenance. Therefore, have your mechanic check them out and replace them if faulty so that your car engine remains strong and reliable.

Luckily, once you replace the spark plugs, you can drive for many years or miles before replacing them.

You may also need to check your spark plug wires. Read on…

Defective Spark Plug Wires

Spark plug wires, also known as ignition cables, should also be checked alongside the spark plugs. Over time the spark plugs do age due to exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Also, engine chemicals such as coolants, grease, and oil may cause damage to the spark plugs over time.

Such damage will often cause the check engine light to come on. Other signs of failing spark plug wires include:

  • The decrease in engine power and acceleration
  • Engine Surging
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Rough engine idle
  • Visible damage on the wires

How to fix defective spark plug wires?

Check the spark plug wires for any signs of melting or cracking. If damaged, have them replaced a soon as possible.

Failing Engine Control Module

The engine computer is commonly referred to as the:

  • Engine Control Module (ECM), or
  • Engine Control Unit (ECU), or
  • Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

The ECM controls all the essential functions of your vehicle including engine performance and the drivability functions.

When the ECM is failing, it will trigger the check engine light to alert you of a potential issue with its sensor or circuits.

Other possible signs of a faulty ECM are:

  • Engine stalling or misfiring
  • Engine performance issue such as throwing off timing and the engine fuel settings
  • Car not starting or difficult to start

How to fix a failing Engine Control Module?

The ECM plays a major role in the performance of your car engine. Any issue with it can largely affect the overall performance of your car.

Therefore, have your vehicle inspected by a certified technician because the ECM is quite sophisticated and complicated.

Engine Valves Failure

Did you know that your car’s engine valves normally open and close up to 2,500 times every minute? That’s an enormous amount of stress on these components.

So, when damaged these vital components of the car engine can trigger the check engine light. The two most common causes of damaged valves are:

Bent or Broken Engine Valves

The engine valves bend or break due to contact with the pistons caused by incorrect engine synchronization. It often happens when a timing/chain belt breaks or a new one is incorrectly fitted.

How to fix a bent or broken engine valves?

If you suspect a bent or broken engine valve, switch off the engine and do not attempt to start it because you may cause costly damage to the cylinder head, pistons, and cylinder bores.

Your timing belt doesn’t last forever. You need to replace it according to your manufacturer’s service guidelines.

Replacing your timing belt is not only cheap but is also an insurance policy against costly engine damage.

Burnt Engine Valves

When combustion gases escape between the valve and the valve seat, it means they are not sealing properly. As the combustion gases are forced through the valve, they slowly start to burn the edges of the valve.

If not rectified over time, the engine valves get worse and even cause damage to the intake valves. Therefore, the burnt engine valves may trigger the check engine light to come on.

The other signs of burnt engine valves to look out for are:

  • Reduced car performance
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Rough engine idle
  • Reduced power
  • Engine backfiring
  • Engine misfire

How to fix burnt engine valves?

If you continue driving your car, the burnt valve will cause more damage that will be costly to repair in the long run. So, get your car checked by a certified mechanic as soon as possible.

Takeaway

In truth when the check light engine comes on and you have no idea what to do, it can be scary. Luckily, you now have some handy tips. Use them.

Better still, you can cut the guesswork and elimination method by getting yourself a GOFAR today.

Get alerts on all your car’s problems in plain English and driver smarter.

Unlike the first generation of smart car gadgets on the market, the GOFAR gadget is an intelligent device that translates engine data and teaches a driver to drive safely to improve efficiency.

The product was first inspired by the rocket launch tracking and Formula One displays to come up with a technology that ensures you spend less on fuel, you know where your car costs are going, and you cut your car’s emission.

The precise sensors on GOFAR continuously calculate your engine’s indicators to give you simple but reliable feedback.

Who Would Benefit From GOFAR Technology?

  • Fleet Owners – If you have drivers that are continuously on the road on a daily basis, a slight change in driving habits will have a considerable saving.
  • Car Enthusiasts – If you find pleasure in finding the nitty gritty in the automotive industry, the GOFAR device will help you come up car metrics that will help you change your driving behavior as well as teach others on how they can save fuel.
  • Environment Activists – If you love the environment but cannot yet afford an electric car, perhaps you should get the GOFAR device to drive reduce your car’s emissions.
  • Long Distance Drivers – The longer the distance you drive, the more GOFAR is likely to save your fuel and repair costs.

Benefits of GOFAR Technology

  • Device Powered by Car – You don’t need to get an extra battery for the GOFAR device as it is powered by the car’s battery.
  • Reliable – The GOFAR technology gives you real-time feedback for every mile you drive which guarantees your efficiency and performance for every mile you cover.
  • Proof of Expenses – As a driver, you don’t need to show your boss how much you spent on fuel or how many trips you made as they already have that information on the smartphone. As a businessman, you don’t need additional proof of expenses to the tax authorities.
  • Sleek Design – The slim silhouette design can catch your attention at the periphery of your vision. Just like your car’s dashboard, you can concentrate on the road even as you take charge of your driving style to keep the costs of running the vehicle at a bare minimum.
  • Easy to Install – Once you find your car’s On-Board Diagnostic II port, installation is easy.

How to Install GOFAR

  • Plug the dongle into the OBDII port of your car.
  • Connect the dongle to the Ray and then put the Ray securely on the dashboard of your car.
  • Pair your smartphone with the dongle to get real-time feedback on your fuel usage as well as alerts of malfunction.

How GOFAR Tracks Energy Usage

When a driver presses the acceleration pedal of the car, the fuel is released and burnt. Fuel burning releases chemical energy that is changed into kinetic energy when the car’s propulsion system rotates gears.

Unfortunately, sometimes the kinetic energy is more than is required to rotate gears and this is when some power is lost.

GOFAR tracks the power lost and compares this with the energy needed for propulsion, thereby giving the driver advise on just how much pressure he needs to apply on the accelerator.

A lot of energy is lost due to aerodynamic pressure (wind resistance) and friction when the wheels are rolling along the ground. GOFAR also tracks this loss.

Also, kinetic energy is lost as heat when a driver brakes unless the car model has regenerative braking system such as the one found on hybrid cars.

It is important to note that energy costs money and every time it is lost, you pay for something you did not use.

GOFAR not only helps you see the total energy lost but also some actionable steps to mitigate this.

For example, GOFAR will not only tell you how many harsh braking you did during the trip, but also how much it costed you and how you can avoid it the next time you drive.

It is driving behaviors such as harsh braking, harsh acceleration, unnecessary speeding that cost you money.

However, you can avoid all this if you pay attention to the Ray’s LED. Every time it blinks red, you are burning cash, but when it is blue, then you are driving efficiently.

How GOFAR Tracks Emissions

Through constant monitoring of the gasoline flow rate, evaluating the combustion conditions and the resultant carbon emission, GOFAR can track just how efficiently your car is using the fuel.

As a responsible company, the inventors of the GOFAR device made sure it accurately measured the emissions of the vehicle and then gave the correct feedback to the driver.

If everybody on the planet used the invention, there will be fewer carbon emissions and thus a cleaner environment.

GOFAR VEHICLE Compatibility Table

Country Fuel Used Year of Manufacture of later
Australia Gas/Diesel 2007
Canada Gas/Diesel 1998
China Gas/Diesel 2011
EU Countries Gas/Diesel 2004
Hong Kong Gas 2007
Israel Gas 2003
Japan Gas 2003
New Zealand Gas 2007
Singapore Gas 2014
South Korea Gas/Diesel 2007
Taiwan Gas/Diesel 2008
UK Gas/Diesel 2004
USA Gas/Diesel 1996

GOFAR SMARTPHONE COMPATIBILITY TABLE

Operating System Model Date of Manufacturer
iOS Devices iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6+
iPod Touch 5
All other iOS devices manufactured post-November 2015
November 2015 or later
Android Samsung Galaxy S3 and newer
Google Nexus 4 and newer
HTC One M7 and newer
Sony Xperia Z1 and newer
All other Android smartphones manufactured post-December 2015
 December 2015 or later

What the Insurers Think About GOFAR

The insurance companies seem to have received the news of behavior-based insurance sales in stride.

According to research done by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, sales in this category have multiplied by 60% in the UK since 2012.

Users who have opted to have a telematics device such as GOFAR in their device pay insurance premiums that are heavily discounted, sometimes to as far as 25% in the UK.

If you are a young driver that is finding insurance premiums abnormally high, you can invest in a GOFAR device that will provide proof of safe driving and thus attract discounts in premiums paid.

According to Australian Associated Motor Insurers Limited (AAMI), people who have verifiable data on safe driving will in future continue to profoundly influence the risk and pricing models of motor vehicle insurance.

Richard Tooth, a director at Sapere Research Group, says that the Australian Insurance regulatory system is biased against good driving. “It amounts to good drivers subsidizing the bad,” he says.

To solve this problem, GOFAR has promised to initiate a program where those using the device and follows its advice will promptly attract better premium rates.

The company offers to help users of the device compare different insurance companies’ prices to reward its good driving behavior with premium incentives.

In Conclusion;

Investing in GOFAR may not seem urgent today, but wait until you see the amount of money you are saving operating your car.

We all have better things to do with money than wasting it on fuel or unscrupulous mechanic, don’t we?

A dying, fading car battery means low voltage. As a result, your car’s computer, which is responsible for reporting error codes, is also receiving low voltage.

An error code will be generated which will in turn trigger the Check Engine Light or even the Battery Charge Warning Light to display.

So what should you do?

How do you know if a dying battery is actually the cause of the warning light to come on? And if not, what could be the problem? Is there an engine light diagnostic app you can use?

Let’s find out…

What the Dashboard Light Means

Example image of a Check Engine Light or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL)
Example image of a Check Engine Light or Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL)

When the check engine light comes on, it will either blink / flash or remain solid / steady, depending on the severity of the problem.

Some of the common warning indicator labels are:

  • CHECK ENGINE
  • CHECK POWERTRAIN
  • SERVICE ENGINE SOON
  • Or just a pictogram (icon) of an engine outline

You can either pop the bonnet and reset the battery terminals or use an OBD2 Scanner to clear the error codes via your smartphone.

Let’s look at each light symbol in detail.

Flashing / Red Check Engine Light

A red (rather than yellow/orange) or flashing light on your dash signals a serious issue that needs urgent attention.

A blinking / red check engine light means there could be a serious engine misfire and unburnt fuel is being dumped into the exhaust system.

This is a serious problem that can cause damage to your car components, such as the catalytic converter, which is costly to repair.

(Consider that a catalytic converter costs between $500 and $1,000 each and there are multiple units within a vehicle.)

Flashing check engine light
If the warning light is flashing, it’s serious

What to do when the Check Engine Light is flashing?

When you see a blinking light on your dashboard, do not to attempt driving your car any further.

Continuing to drive with a flashing check engine light is a critical mistake that can cause extensive damage to your car.

So, slow down, safely pull over to the kerb, and have your car towed to an automotive repair shop as soon as possible.

Your mechanic will run an OBD2 diagnostics check. To confirm the mechanic’s results you can use an OBD2 compliant diagnostics app such as GOFAR.

Steady / Solid Check Engine Light

If the check engine light is on but steady / solid, it’s okay to keep driving because it’s not an emergency.

However, if you keep driving around with a steady check engine light on, your car’s performance may deteriorate without you noticing.

In the process, you may suffer expensive fuel mileage. Plus, your car could be emitting hydrocarbons and other pollutants at unacceptable levels.

What to do when the Check Engine Light is solid?

You need to diagnose the problem as soon as you can to avoid things getting worse.

You can use an OBD2 scanner (also called an OBDII scanner) – like mechanics use – to check the fault code generated by the car’s computer.

OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics, and most modern cars have OBD2 ports near the steering wheel to access them. Or you could pay your mechanic to do that for you. Either way, you should do something.

Quick Solution: GOFAR app automatically diagnoses the problem and can save $1,000s in costly car repairs. Features or Buy Now

Battery Charge Warning Light

Battery Charge Warning Light symbol
GOFAR diagnoses 300+ common OBD2 scanner code errors – Get yours today

If this light comes on, it definitely indicates a malfunctioning or poorly charging battery.

This warning light illuminates whenever the charging system isn’t charging the battery with at least a voltage of around 13.5 volts.

This particular warning can be triggered by a range of issues, so check with a professional to find out what the exact issue is before spending money on parts that don’t necessarily need replacing.

Tips to Determine Why Your Check Engine Light Is Illuminated

Firstly, Decide Whether There’s a Serious Problem

A serious problem requires immediate attention, otherwise you risk more damage to your car. Therefore the best place to start checking is your car’s dashboard array.

The dashboard gauges and lights are good indicators of serious problems such as low oil pressure or overheating.

If you discover that your oil pressure is low or there’s overheating, you need to quickly find a safe place, pull over, and shut off the engine.

Remember a yellow check engine light gives you some time to investigate the problem. But, a red or blinking light means it is an emergency and you should immediately but safely pull over.

You can diagnose dashboard warning lights with GOFAR.

Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary

Credit: GoranH

It may sound obvious but a loose/faulty gas cap can actually set the check engine light on. Some vehicle models – including the Honda CR-V – have a separate fuel cap warning indicator on the dash.

Either way, if the issue is a loose gas cap, even after fixing it, you may need to drive for about 50 to 100 miles (80 to 160 km) before the check engine light resets.

Use the GOFAR Code Scanner

Your car is capable of performing remote diagnostics and report trouble codes. But, you will need a code scanner such as GOFAR.

Best of all, you don’t need any technical knowledge to use GOFAR.

Once you plug it into your dash, it will read, interpret, and report to you your car issues in plain English. GOFAR has the capability to diagnose over 300 common car issues.

Test Your Car’s Battery

Most car problems emanate from a faulty/undercharged battery or a poor electrical connection. With a faulty battery, there’s bound be low voltage at the car’s computer which may cause the check engine light to come on.

When you take your car to the mechanic, he will test your car’s battery before doing any further diagnostic testing.

Reduce Speed and Load

Let’s say you are towing a trailer and then the check engine light suddenly comes on.

A great idea would be to stop towing the trailer and have the car checked for possible damage.

So, if you notice your check engine light is blinking or your car is underperforming and losing power, you need to reduce your speed and the demands on the engine.

Replace Faulty Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs

Credit: StockSnap

If your spark plugs or wires are damaged they can cause serious engine misfires, hard starts and poor fuel economy along with emitting a higher amount of harmful emissions.

For every 30,000 miles (50,000km) covered, you need to need to replace your spark plugs and spark wires. Otherwise, when fouled, they will cause the check engine light to come on.

Replace Bad Ignition Coil(s)

An ignition coil is known as a spark coil. It boosts the battery’s low voltage to the required volts (in thousands) needed to create an electric spark and ignite the fuel.

Since the ignition coil is part of your car’s ignition system, any fault will cause the check engine light to come on.

Replace Faulty Fuel Injector(s)

A fuel injector is used to deliver fuel into the engine via a nozzle. The engine control unit (ECU) determines the frequency the fuel is injected into the cylinder.

For every 30,000 miles covered (50,000km), the fuel injectors should be cleaned to avoid clogging.

Nonetheless, the fuel injectors can become faulty and light up the check engine light, as can other problems such as:

  • Violent/ Rough engine idle
  • Gasoline/fuel leaks
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Unburned fuel odour
  • Engine surges
  • Misfiring engine
  • Vibrating engine

Replace Bad Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor

The mass air flow sensor regulates the mass of air getting into the fuel injection engine. It then reports the same to the Engine Control Unit (ECU).

When the mass air flow sensor is faulty there won’t be correct balance and delivery of fuel to the engine.

To boost your engine performance and turn off the check engine light, take it to a qualified mechanic for repair.

Keep in mind that it’s much easier to use a GOFAR to diagnose the exact problem. This is an affordable DIY gadget that explains all your car’s problems in plain English.

There are more car issues that can cause the check engine light to come on. Here is a comprehensive list of some of the main culprits:

  • Replace Crankshaft Position Sensor
  • Replace evaporative emissions canister vent valve
  • Replace intake manifold gaskets
  • Replace evaporative emissions vent control
  • Replace engine coolant temperature sensors
  • Replace emission system integrity monitor
  • Clean fuel injectors
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Replace knock sensors
  • Replace throttle body assembly
  • Replace fuel tank pressure sensor
  • Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Canister Vent Solenoid
  • Replace Camshaft Position Sensor (CMP)
  • Replace Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve and Clean All EGR ports
  • Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid
  • Replace Thermostat
  • Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve
  • Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s)
  • Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S

In Conclusion

It can be hard to know what the engine warning light is telling you. Luckily, GOFAR provides a reliable and safe solution.

Install GOFAR in your car to receive plain English error codes on over 300 common issues with your car.

You can check whether your car is GOFAR-ready or learn more about understanding your car engine warning lights on the spot.

At the end of the day, do you take home less money than you would like as an Uber driver?

Stop it now! Find out what details you’re overlooking and boost your earnings.

An inexpensive, smart OBD2 scanner, your driving behaviour, and a few essential hacks, some of which might even seem silly at first, can greatly influence your Uber earnings.

You’d be astounded to find out how much. They can make or break your finances, especially in the long run.

So, why wouldn’t you apply the following amazingly effective, yet often neglected techniques to maximise your profits?

1. Tweak Your Driving Behaviour with a Smart OBD2 Scanner

It’s time to finally put your finances into shape, isn’t it?

The easiest starting point is learning how to tweak your driving style so that you can keep more money in your pocket.

Sounds complicated? Not at all! It’s simple and completely hassle-free.

Just let the GOFAR OBD2 scanner become your driving buddy. Pair it with the free GOFAR OBD2 app, and your Uber income can start growing in no time.

With precision sensors constantly calculating your engine’s sweet spot, it’s proven to reduce your fuel consumption and improve economy.

Check out how simple it is to install and how it works.

See how this cool device helps you to spend less on fuel, car servicing, maintenance, and taxes, reduce CO2 emissions, and much more?

And all you need to do is plug the OBD2 bluetooth device into the OBD port under your dashboard and make sure the Ray light stays BLUE while you’re having fun driving.

Not only can this smart, affordable gadget help you save 10-30% on fuel by providing real-time feedback on your driving behaviour, it’s also a car diagnostic app.

Click here to learn how to increase your gas mileage and save up to 30%* on fuel costs each year.

Want to know the best part?

No need to figure out what all those OBD2 codes mean when something goes wrong. This little buddy puts it all in plain English.

OK. Enough talking about this OBD2 scanner. Explore it further yourself and see how fantastic it is before you get it working wonders for your car and your wallet.

Let’s see what other details you should NOT neglect if you want to boost your Uber earnings.

2. Competently Handle Difficult Passengers

Any Uber driver working with customers knows how difficult they can be, whether they’re disrespectful, drunk, unruly, angry or overly aggressive. That’s the job. Difficult riders come in various shapes and sizes.

Unfortunately, those unbearable customers are inevitable. Your job is to keep calm and handle them with grace.

Keep your nerves by preparing yourself in advance for various difficult scenarios so that you manage to stay professional.

Try to anticipate possible problems, think about what you could expect and how it would be best to react to keep high ratings and, more importantly, to stay safe.

This video can help you learn how to deal with unruly passengers safely:

3. Play Your Riders’ Favourite Music

Showing your passengers how much you appreciate them is another sure-fire way to increase your income as an Uber driver.

Offer people the luxury of playing their favourite tunes while riding with you.

Yeah, even if it means listening to loud metal or rap music you can’t stand. They won’t forget it and you’ll more likely be given higher ratings and better tips.

So, invest in a decent car radio you can connect with your smartphone and perhaps prepare a variety of playlists to provide the passengers with this exceptional experience.

But be careful – playing music can be tricky. So, don’t insist on it. Respect your riders if they reject your offer, just want to chat with you, or want to keep quiet.

Treat them the way THEY want to be treated – not YOU.

4. Offer Free Refreshments

Another easy way you can turn your Uber driver earnings into success is incredibly simple.

Offering a bottle of cold water on a scorching sunny day, and/or a small chocolate bar to your passengers will undoubtedly make them feel more energised and comfortable in your vehicle.

As a result, you’ve guessed – it can easily increase your tips and ratings. Yet, the investment is minimal and tax deductible.

You could even get paid to hand out snacks. Amazing, right?

5. Take It a Step Further to Boost Your Uber Driver Ratings

Here are a few more hacks that can do wonders for your driver ratings but you may ignore them accidentally or even on purpose.

Yeah, yeah… you know you are an excellent driver and we believe you. But, how come riders give you less than 5 stars, then?

Any other neglected details to consider? Probably.

If you want only 5-star ratings, make sure you pay close attention to the following essentials:

  • Your car should ALWAYS be impeccably clean. Mess is not tolerated at all.
  • The same goes for your clothes while on duty. Dress professionally, and choose outfits of similar style to your customers’ if possible.
  • Keep all odours away from your car (food, mold, tobacco, body odor and the like). Maybe you can’t smell it but your riders can and will probably dislike it.
  • Be aware of your driving habits such as hard braking, which most passengers hate. Perfect your driving style to make people feel safe when driving with you. If they don’t, they’ll downrate you. Driving smoothly is easy with the help of GOFAR OBD2 scanner and its realtime driver feedback. Remember?

These simple pieces of advice will unquestionably help you keep your stats up and increase your Uber income, so make sure you don’t overlook any details.

6. Encourage Tips

Always remain professional and do your best to provide a fantastic rideshare experience.

Doing so but not getting many tips? Then, it’s time to prompt your riders to tip you.

Of course, you should NOT do it overtly. If you directly ask for a tip, you’re bound to get negative ratings just because you asked.

How to do it, then?

An elegant and discreet way to let people know tips are more than welcome could be adding a tip sign to your car.

(Image source: Ridester Uber tip sign)

You can buy ready-made signs online such as this one or many other similar ones, e.g. on Etsy. Also, you can download some of them for free or create your own fun and unique ones.

Just make sure you display the tip sign prominently to encourage your riders not only to tip you but to give you good ratings. This way you’ll avoid coming across as pushy.

Besides the tip signs, you could similarly make use of tip boxes, which are also sold online.

7. Learn How to Improve Your Rideshare Service

If you feel you need more than the previous super useful tips to grow your Uber driver income, don’t hesitate to do all you can to improve your service and earnings.

For instance, you can take free online courses and learn all the ropes of the job.

If that’s what you’d like, we recommend taking the Ridester training. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Uber driver, their courses will suit your needs and you’ll be able to learn a lot.

The training covers almost every aspect of ride sharing, including:

That’s a wrap

You see? It’s possible to grow your Uber driver’s earnings without much hassle.

What’s more, it becomes child’s play with a little help from a few money-saving tips and a smart easy-to-use gadget like the GOFAR OBD2 scanner.

No technical skills needed. Just a bit of organisation and your common sense.

What are you waiting for? Check your car’s compatibility here with a simple click and get GOFAR OBD2 scanner now.

Start building Uber earnings you’ll be proud of with the combination of this device and the hacks above. Happy earning!

Admit it, as a driver, getting a Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon Light on your dashboard is frustrating. To make matters worse it can get pretty expensive when you try to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause.

Luckily, there is a way to self-diagnose your car even if car technology seems like rocket science.

Here’s the kicker: There’s a clever little gadget called GOFAR designed for people just like you – people who want to know what car issues mean – in plain English. No tech jargon!

Forget rushing to the repair shop every time your check engine light comes on. Sometimes it may be something as silly as a loose gas cap!

GOFAR explains over 300 error codes in language that everyone can understand.

Brief History of Check Engine Light

Just for the record, the check engine light has been a standard equipment feature on all automotive onboard computers since 1981.

In 1996, a protocol known as PB-II was passed and became a standard requirement that all automakers have to adhere to.

The check engine light itself is a component of the vehicle’s emissions system. It’s built to alert drivers on computer monitored emissions issues.

But despite being around for quite some time, the check engine light is not exactly fully understood by many car owners who are keen on DIY car repairs.

Related: Car Warning Lights Resource Centre

How to Check If Check Engine Light Works

The first thing to do is understand how the check engine light works. It’s actually relatively simple.

For starters, your vehicle has an inbuilt computer that receives signals from various sensors within the system. These signals are used control various functions of the car such as transmission shifting, fuel delivery, spark plugs, and so on.

Your car’s computer continuously monitors all the emissions signals. It then analyses each signal received and determines if it is necessary to set an error code.

But there’s one problem: once the computer identifies the issue, it will only point to the part of the system that’s being affected by what has failed rather than identifying the system that has actually failed.

How Oxygen Sensors Work

What Is an Oxygen Sensor?

An oxygen sensor or O2 sensor is a mounting on the vehicle’s exhaust manifold. It monitors the amount of unburnt oxygen in the exhaust on exit.

Where Are Oxygen Sensors Located?

The number of oxygen sensors varies per vehicle. Most vehicles have two oxygen sensors but those with dual exhausts often have four oxygen sensors on each bank of the engine.

Simply stated, it’s mandatory for all car models made after 1996 to have an oxygen sensor upstream and downstream of each catalytic converter.

What Does an Oxygen Sensor Do?

Oxygen sensors generate their own voltage when they get hot at about 600°F.

  • The tip of the oxygen sensor that connects into the exhaust manifold is a zirconium bulb
  • The inner and outer parts of the zirconium bulb are coated with a layer of porous platinum that acts as electrodes.
  • The interior of the bulb is vented internally through the sensor body to the outside atmosphere.

When the outer part of the exhaust is exposed to the hot gases of the exhaust, it causes a variance in oxygen levels between the bulb and the outside atmosphere within the sensor.

As a result, voltage flows through the bulb. So, techy, but not magic.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the process.

RatioRatio MeansRatio MeansVoltage
Lean fuel ratioNot enough fuel in the mixtureRelatively low voltage0.1 Volts
Rich fuel ratioToo much fuel in the mixtureRelatively high voltage0.9 Volts
Stoichiometric air/fuel ratio14.7 parts of air to 1 part of the fuelOkay0.45 Volts

The Upstream Oxygen Sensor (Oxygen sensor 1)

In relation to the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor 1 is the upstream oxygen sensor.

Oxygen sensor 1:

  • Measures the air-fuel-ratio coming from the exhaust manifold
  • Sends high and low voltage signals to the powertrain module for regulation of the air-fuel mixture

How the powertrain operates:

Powertrain receivesCompensates by
Low voltage (lean signal)Increases the amount of fuel in the mixture
High voltage (rich signal)Reduces (leans) the amount of fuel it adds to the mixture

This is known as the closed feedback control loop whereby the powertrain control module works with the oxygen sensor to regulate fuel mixture.

The closed loop operation causes a constant flip-flop between rich and lean, which enables the catalytic converter to reduce emissions by properly balancing the average fuel mixture ratios.

The powertrain control module can enter into open loop operation when a cold engine is started or when an oxygen sensor fails.

In this case, the powertrain control module doesn’t receive any signal from the oxygen sensor and orders for a fixed rich fuel mixture. Open loop operation results in increased fuel consumptions and emissions.

Almost all of the latest versions of oxygen sensors contain heating elements that help them quickly attain the operating temperature thereby reducing the amount of time spent in open loop operation.

The Downstream Oxygen Sensor (Oxygen Sensor 2)

Oxygen sensor 2 in relation to the catalytic converter is a downstream oxygen sensor. It ensures the catalytic converter functions properly by measuring the air-fuel ratio.

The stoichiometric air-fuel ratio of 14.7:1 is to be maintained by the catalytic converter.

On the other hand, the powertrain control module continually flip-flops at intervals with the rich and lean air-fuel mixtures being input from the upstream oxygen sensor (sensor 1).

For this reason, the downstream oxygen sensors (sensor 2) should produce a constant voltage of around 0.45 volts.

Unfortunately, more often than not, a faulty oxygen sensor code results in unnecessary repairs. Even experienced technicians have been known to misinterpret this code system.

An oxygen sensor error code can be triggered by a wide array of issues. Despite being highly reliable, millions of oxygen sensors have been needlessly replaced every year.

The main reason being that the computer set an oxygen sensor code.

Oxygen Sensor Codes

You may be wondering what this has to do with oxygen sensors, but hang on, we’ll break it down for you.

Oxygen-rich excess air can’t be burnt completely. And it leaves the engine via the exhaust.

When there’s excess oxygen in the exhaust, the oxygen sensor always produces a similar amount of voltage and in the end, it quits switching from rich to lean.

Keep in mind that if the voltage from the oxygen sensor doesn’t fluctuate then the fuel mixture locks up.

Now, your car’s computer constantly monitors the frequency and quantity of voltage changes. If it doesn’t meet the specifications, the computer turns on the check engine light and sets a code.

Unfortunately, your car’s computer is not in a position to determine the reason as to why the oxygen sensor is not switching from rich to lean. And as a result, it sets on the check engine oxygen sensor code.

Most people who get an oxygen sensor code actually do install a new oxygen sensor. The code will clear and they will assume that the car is fixed.

However, this is a short-lived yet expensive “fix”. The root cause of the problem has not been fixed – it still exists. After a while, the check engine light comes on again.

By now you’re probably wondering why this happens, right?

Well… when the error codes are cleared, the computer monitors are also erased. However, the computer’s subprograms keep on analysing individual circuits.

When all is okay, they relay a “Set and Ready” status and the check engine light can’t come on.

However, the specific series of driving conditions have to be met for the light to reset.

Sometimes, a complete reset can take days, weeks, or months because some of the driving conditions are not part of the usual daily driving.

Consequently, most of the check engine light repairs work for a while before the same light and code return again. Unfortunately, it is assumed that the new oxygen sensor is defective. It is then replaced under warranty.

But if proper testing and repairs are not done, then the process will repeat itself over and over again.

And that’s just nuts because it’s a waste of money!

How to Avoid Check Engine Light Problems

It’s important that you know how and why your car problems are occurring. It may seem complicated to deal with codes and check engine lights.

Here’s a proper procedure for you to follow when troubleshooting your car issues so you know how to avoid them.

Test the battery

The car battery supplies electrical power necessary to run the vehicle along with controlling and stabilizing the system voltage.

When the check engine light comes on, start by testing the battery. A faulty battery can cause malfunctioning of the electrical and electronic parts of the car including the computer.

Your car’s computer requires a decent input voltage which if not available can cause the check engine light to come on.

Test the alternator

An alternator produces alternating current (AC), but your car uses direct current (DC).

The alternator converts the AC to DC via a series of diodes inside the alternator. When an alternator fails, it can’t perform current conversions anymore.

Therefore, test the alternator while paying close attention to the diodes.

When the AC current directly passes into the car’s electrical system the car’s computer gets confused – garbage in, garbage out.

Did you know that you could end up replacing parts that are still good if you don’t check out this step? Here’s a possible scenario:

Some oxygen sensors normally produce AC signals from the computer. However, when a false AC signal from a bad diode (“garbage in”) makes it to your computer, it produces a faulty output signal (“garbage out”).

The computer can’t tell the difference between an AC signal from a sensor and a false one from the alternator. This can lead to rough shifting, performance problems, codes, and the imminent “Check Engine” light.

In this case, the “Check Engine” light and codes would most likely be false.

Visually inspect hoses and wires

Once you’ve checked the battery and the alternator and passed them as okay, it’s now time to do an eyeball test.

Thoroughly inspect all the hoses and wires. Look for frayed or oil-soaked wires and vacuum hoses. Anything that looks suspicious should be inspected.

Use an Engine Analyser

Next, this is a critical step that needs the use of a special engine analyser. Don’t confuse it with a computer scanner.

An engine analyser uses two primary testers to determine that all baseline parts are functioning properly. Baseline parts control fuel delivery and produce high voltage to fire the spark plugs.

The two pieces of equipment are an oscilloscope to look at electricity as it moves through parts, and an exhaust gas analyser to measure tailpipe emissions for diagnostic purposes.

These are extremely important tests because there are many failures in baseline systems that cause “Check Engine” lights and codes.

Retrieve codes with GOFAR

Finally, it’s time to retrieve codes. All you need is the GOFAR code reader and more than 300 of the most common error codes are there on your phone – explained in plain English!

Just remember, knowledge is power… and more money in your pocket rather than your mechanic’s!

Many Uber drivers feel that they should earn more for the time they spend driving. However, the common Uber driver overlooks some obvious details that can leave more money in their pockets if they’re careful enough.

Time to become aware of them and start earning more, isn’t it?

Change your driving style with the help of an OBD2 scanner

Never thought of getting a handy device such as an OBD2 scanner? Working as an Uber driver but don’t find it necessary? Think again.

Or perhaps you haven’t been aware that OBD2 software connected to a car computer can help an Uber driver reduce excessive car expenses and make MORE money from their driving?

You’re about to find out how it’s possible.

An intelligent OBD2 scanner helps you get more money in your pocket at the end of the week by changing your driving style.

Here’s how Uber driver, Matt, saved $20-$30 a week on fuel using one of the best OBD2 apps – GOFAR:

Now that you know how the GOFAR OBD2 scanner works, you can get it and cut your fuel costs by an average of almost 10% and up to 20% or even 30%.

It’s simple to set up and use.  You install it in a couple of easy steps, and then all you have to do is make sure the Ray light is BLUE. It means you’re driving efficiently and not burning money.

Also, you can focus on the road because the real-time feedback you get works in your peripheral vision and isn’t distracting.

Want to know the best part? GOFAR is not only an affordable OBD2 app, it’s also a car diagnostic app.

Just plug the OBD2 bluetooth into the OBD port under your dashboard, and you’ll get your car diagnostic secrets revealed. Nothing else is left hidden under the dashboard.

It gets even better.

All the faults are expressed in plain English! No need to learn those complicated OBD2 codes and no technical knowledge required.

That’s not all.

Besides monitoring your driving behaviour and car’s health, it enables you to:

Take Advantage of Tax Deductions

To boost your Uber earnings, you should aim at keeping your tax deductions as low as possible.

You can achieve that if you know which tax deductions you can claim, especially if you’re using the same car for private and business matters like most Uber drivers do.

But it can get quite tricky and overwhelming.

Here are some of the business expenses you can claim:

  • general maintenance, upkeep and car washes,
  • fuel costs,
  • parking and toll fees (but not illegal parking fines, of course),
  • insurance,
  • your tax accountant’s fee if you hired any,
  • vehicle licensing or registration,
  • safety equipment,
  • mobile phone bills (for business purposes only),
  • and even up to 50% on snacks and drinks provided to your passengers (but not your meals during work).

Detailed neat records of your business-related costs go without saying when we talk about tax returns because you need proof for every single cent.

If you can’t cope with this complicated financial part of the business, find a qualified accountant who’s knowledgeable about the specifics of Uber tax returns.

Some Uber and Rideshare tax specialists – like this one in Australia – even offer a free Uber Tax Info Pack.

These experts can get you more back on your expenses as they know all the ins and outs of the tax system specific to an Uber driver.

Remember – you’re NOT working on a salary, but as an independent contractor. So, make sure you report ALL your earnings to stay away from legal troubles.

Get Ride share Insurance

As an Uber driver, you can’t make any money without your car, right?

Why risk ending up in a car accident without being insured, then?

If that happens, you won’t be able to earn a living while your car is being fixed. Is it worth it? Especially when you know you and your riders can be properly covered for a small premium.

Here are some insurance facts Uber drivers need to know:

To figure out which insurance is right for you and how to find it, watch another helpful video.

In case you didn’t know it, so far, you’ve realised that getting appropriate rideshare insurance is a smart upfront business investment. After all, it can save you a lot of money in the long run if you need it someday.

Plan Your Breaks

We understand that you cannot predict exactly when you’ll need a bathroom break. But it’s not impossible to figure out approximately when you’ll need to have a quick bite during your shift.

Don’t you agree?

That’s why you should plan your breaks as much as possible.

Picking up pricey and unhealthy snacks from local petrol stations when hunger strikes leads to wasting money, doesn’t it?

A sure-fire way to prevent it is to plan your meals. Prepare healthy snacks at home and take them with you. Just make sure they have NO odour so that your clients don’t feel uncomfortable.

Have a few bottles of water near at hand. An extra bottle offered to your thirsty passenger can boost your tips and ratings.

What’s more, you can at least map out nearby restrooms in your driving area just in case. That’s how you’ll save time spent driving around in search of a free parking space in a busy area. Also, you won’t waste fuel.

Manage Your Routes and Time Wisely

It’s true that being an Uber driver means that you can work whenever it suits you best. But is that time also perfect for your riders?

If you don’t take it into consideration, you’re likely to work harder and waste more money at the same time. Instead, you should work smarter.

Here’s what it’s all about.

Time and place greatly matter here.

Staying close to the downtown is also highly recommendable. The demands for Uber drivers increase particularly when the town is packed with tourists and there are plenty of events.

So, develop a strategy for yourself. Think about what people in your town are usually doing at certain periods of the day and week. Also, consider where they might be going at those times, e.g. to work, to the airport, theatre or a restaurant for dinner.

These insights will enable you to figure out when and where there’s the greatest demand for your services.

Think twice before you reposition yourself during a shift and don’t forget to switch the engine off while waiting for a passenger for more than a couple of minutes in order to save fuel.

Find your perfect timing and location. Don’t let driving around alone to pick up riders from different town areas eat up most of your profits.

Optimizing Your Income as an Uber Driver

When driving is your main source of income, every single detail matters. So, next time you sit behind the wheel to make some cash, make sure you:

  • drive smoothly and efficiently,
  • know the ropes of Uber tax deductions,
  • manage your time wisely and plan your breaks,
  • make the most of your whereabouts,
  • are covered by a rideshare insurance.

Get that right and you’re bound to fatten up your wallet with all these tips and a reliable OBD2 scanner. Order the gadget that monitors and improves your driving. It will help you become as efficient as a Formula 1 racing driver.

Besides, with the 60-day money-back guarantee, it’s totally risk-free, isn’t it?

If you don’t like it, you can return it with no hassle at all.

Check Car Buy Now