The check-engine light is on! This little illumination can strike fear into the heart of a car owner, but before you start worrying, make sure that it's not something small. The following four issues frequently cause the check-engine light to come on – here's how to diagnose and solve these issues:

1. Loose Fuel Cap

When the light comes on, check your fuel cap. If you replaced it incorrectly after your last trip to the petrol station, or if it's old and its threads have worn down, it may be causing your check-engine light to come on. Remove the cap, and replace it securely. If necessary, order a new fuel cap.

If the cap is causing the check-engine light to be on, replacing or securing the cap will solve the issue. However, it may take a day or two for the light to go off.

2. Too Much Air in the Engine

Your engine needs the right mixture of fuel and air to run correctly. If it gets too much air compared to fuel, it may not start. This condition can also cause the check-engine light to come on. To see if this is the trouble, you need to check the hoses that vacuum air out of the engine.

With the hood up and the engining running, listen for the sound of a leak. Just as if you are checking a bike tire, you will hear hissing air if there is a leak. Follow the sound to pinpoint the source of the leak. If it's a loose hose, straighten it, tighten it, and secure it with oil-resistant tape. If there is a hole in one of the hoses, you can patch it, or replace the hose.

3. Cheap Petrol

If neither the fuel cap nor the hoses seem to be the issue, consider the fuel you are using. Some car owners find that the check-engine light comes on after they have gotten cheaper petrol for the first time. After the light comes on, try filling the tank with premium petrol. That may solve the issue.

4. Spark Plugs

Another possible explanation for your check-engine light being on is that your spark plugs need to be replaced. Spark plugs are critical to the combustion process in your engine. If they aren't working correctly, the car will jolt when you accelerate or feel like it is completely shaking.

Although this can feel pretty disastrous when you are in the car, it's an easy fix if you take it to a garage like Car Lane Auto Centre quickly. Replacing spark plugs is relatively affordable and quick.