The check engine light on your Audi isn't there to give you friendly advice, but to warn you that a potentially car-threatening problem could be brewing. Foreign car engineering requires that all parts of the car are in top working order to ensure best performance. For example, on an Audi, the check engine light comes on when a spark plug or plug wire requires replacement. Although you can keep driving the car, eventually the worn plug will cause the entire catalytic converter to break down. Know the common problems so you get your Audi to the shop in plenty of time to avoid a major problem.

What Triggers the Light?

The check engine light is part of the early warning system on your car, so it doesn't always indicate an imminent mechanical breakdown. There is no one specific cause that triggers the light. All of the following are specific issues to the Audi that can activate the check engine light:

  • Loose or missing gas cap.

  • Wet engine, from a car wash or rain.

  • Emission system troubles.

  • Faulty hoses.

  • Fuel injector malfunction.

  • Sensor malfunction, including the mass air flow and oxygen sensors.

  • Spark plug or electrical wiring problems.

  • Blown engine gasket heads.

What Should You Do?

In most cases, you should stop driving the car immediately. Replacing a sensor on your Audi is much less expensive than repairing or replacing major engine damage caused by a malfunction. In some cases, you may be able to accurately diagnose and fix the problem yourself. For example, if you recently filled up, take a few minutes to make sure the gas cap is on securely. If the light turns off after replacing and tightening the gas cap, the problem isn't a major concern that requires a shop visit.

When Should You Get Help?

Anything beyond the gas cap necessitates a visit to a shop experienced in foreign car repairs like Wolfe's Foreign Auto. If you notice other issues beyond the light, such as uneven idling, stalling or engine noises, don't attempt to drive the car to the shop. This chances further engine damage.

Your mechanic will hook your car up to their diagnostic machine, which allows them to accurately pinpoint the problem. In most cases, the culprit is a faulty sensor, but without diagnostic work there is no way to guarantee this. Once the problem is accurately diagnosed, your mechanic can repair your car and get you back on the road quickly.