When you are driving your Ford Explorer, and suddenly the check engine light is illuminated, you may become quite worried about what problem has occurred and how to handle it. However, you don’t need to be overly concerned because, in this blog article, we will cover why the check engine light in a Ford Explorer may come on. By the end of this article, you will understand the check engine light problem, and you will be capable of resolving this issue on your own. So, let’s get started.
Common Causes for the Check Engine Light in Ford Explorers
Some common causes that illuminate the check engine light on a Ford Explorer are given below:
1: Faulty Oxygen Sensor:
The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburnt oxygen in the exhaust, helping the ECM regulate the mixture of fuel and air. A malfunctioning sensor can reduce fuel efficiency and increase emissions. When the oxygen sensor becomes faulty, it causes the check engine light to illuminate.
2: Loose or Damaged Gas Cap:
Surprisingly, a loose or damaged gas cap is the most common and relatively minor culprit for triggering the check engine light in a Ford Explorer, as well as in many other vehicles. It can allow fuel vapors to escape, reducing fuel efficiency and increasing emissions.
3: Catalytic Converter Issues:
The catalytic converter reduces exhaust emissions by converting harmful pollutants into less harmful gases. If it fails, the car won’t run efficiently, and its gas mileage will suffer. So, a malfunctioning catalytic converter is also one of the culprits that can illuminate the check engine light.
4: Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF):
The Mass Air sensor calculates the air entering the engine, helping the ECM to load the right fuel amount. If it goes wrong, it can upset the air-to-fuel ratio, leading to performance and efficiency issues. If the Mass Airflow Sensor becomes faulty, it can illuminate the check engine light (CEL) on a Ford Explorer.
5: Ignition Coil Problems:
The ignition coil generates the spark, which is necessary to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chambers. A malfunctioning coil can cause engine misfires and poor performance. Therefore, when the ignition coil malfunctions, it can trigger the check engine light.
6: Spark Plug and Spark Plug Wire Issues:
Over time, spark plugs and their wires can wear out, leading to misfires, reduced power, and poor fuel economy. When a spark plug goes bad, it can trigger the check engine light.
7: Evaporative Emission System Leak:
This system prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. Leaks in this system, often due to cracked hoses or loose connections, can trigger the CEL.
8: Bad Thermostat:
A faulty thermostat can hinder the engine from reaching its ideal operational temperature, resulting in decreased fuel economy.
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The check engine light in a Ford Explorer serves as a warning about potential issues affecting the vehicle’s performance and emissions. While some causes may be minor, like a loose gas cap, others can be more severe and detrimental to the car’s overall health. Regular maintenance, combined with prompt attention to any CEL illumination, will ensure that your Ford Explorer remains in peak condition for years to come.