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Nissan Sentra Check Engine Light

Nissan Sentra Check Engine Light (Top 5 Causes)

The appearance of a solid or blinking check engine light on the Nissan Sentra is one of the most common issues that every Nissan owner might eventually come across. If the light is blinking it is often an indication of something severe and a solid light is less severe. However, dealing with your Nissan Sentra check engine light is something you often need to understand.

If you notice a blinking light coming from the Nissan Sentra, you have reason to be concerned. The blinking light often relates to a severe misfiring happening in the engine. This could be due to worn components or broken components. It would often lead to unburned fuel being dumped into the exhaust system of your Nissan Sentra.

Dealing with the frustration of a check engine light is something that everyone needs to do at some point. We aim to look at some of the most common problems that Nissan experiences, which cause the check engine light to flare up. We will also look at what you can do to possibly fix these problems and prevent additional damage.

Top 5 Nissan Sentra Check Engine Light Possible Causes

Most vehicles will eventually need to deal with a check engine light and it is more frequent when it comes to high-mileage or older vehicles. The same could be said for the Nissan Sentra, with few issues detected under 50,000 miles. However, here are a few reasons your check engine light could be turned on:

1. Worn Out Catalytic Converter (Severe)

an engine
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Problem: One of the most severe reasons for the check engine light to flare up on the dashboard is when the catalytic converter is failing. The catalytic converter will remove some of the toxic carbon monoxide that your vehicle pumps into the atmosphere and it helps to regulate the fuel economy of your vehicle. You might also find your Nissan Sentra overheating.

Solution: While you can continue driving with a failed catalytic converter, it would not only hamper the performance of the vehicle but will reduce the fuel efficiency of your car. You might find that you have reduced performance. It could also have a knock-on effect, clogging other components like the fuel filter. In many cases, the catalytic converter will only need to be cleaned.

2. Failing Exhaust System (Severe)

exhaust pipes
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Problem: The exhaust is a complicated system for your vehicle and your exhaust would often fail when one of the gaskets is blown or in the process of blowing. The exhaust is another important part of regulating emissions and if you leave this, toxins could affect other areas of your vehicle. A damaged exhaust would often need replacing immediately and lead to a solid check engine light.

Solution: The exhaust is a complicated system and would certainly need to be diagnosed by a professional to ensure that it is fixed. You should consider taking your vehicle to your local mechanic and if it is a gasket, it would be cheap to fix. However, replacing the rest of the exhaust could run you up to $800 depending on the severity.

3. Loose Gas Cap (Less Severe)

the fuel cap
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Problem: One of the minor issues you might need to deal with is the loose gas cap issue on the Nissan Sentra. The gas cap is responsible for not only keeping the components inside the tank but also regulating the pressure. Occasionally, the gas cap might break off or you could lose it when it is not screwed back on correctly.

Solution: Fortunately, this is one of the easiest fixes and while there are numerous temporary solutions you could rely on, it is often best practice to replace the gas cap. Some of these solutions could include a makeshift cap that does not fit properly. Replacing the gas cap should not cost you more than $100 for most vehicle models.

4. Damaged Spark Plugs (Less Severe)

Nissan Sentra Check Engine Light
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: One of the most common components to get damaged on your car is often related to the spark plugs. Spark plugs can blow at any point and if you skip a few services, your spark plugs could clog, reducing the effects of creating a spark or they could blow entirely. This would cause the solid check engine light to come on.

Solution: Much like the spark plugs are a common issue for your Nissan Sentra, especially higher mileage vehicles, it is one of the easiest to replace. You can buy spark plugs from any automotive shop and this would make them easy to replace. Buying spark plugs and replacing them at home is a cheap alternative to getting rid of the check engine light.

5. Various Sensor Issues (O2 Sensor, Mass Airflow Sensor)

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Problem: Modern vehicles have numerous electrical components, which all communicate with the ECU. These sensors will monitor the components of your vehicles and indicate when something is wrong. A damaged sensor is often one of the major reasons for your check engine light. If a sensor is malfunctioning, it could mean that nothing is wrong with your vehicle aside from the sensor. However, it makes it impossible to know when something requires attention.

Solution: You can often continue driving your vehicle with the malfunctioning sensor, but it will be a risk you are taking. The best course of action would be to check the codes with an OBD scanner and find out which sensor is malfunctioning. Once you replace the sensor, the check engine light not be illuminated anymore.


How Do I Reset My Nissan Sentra Check Engine Light

Driving with the check engine light might be frustrating for many people. However, you will need to find out what is causing the light to illuminate. The best practice would be to use an OBD scanner and fix the problem. After a few trips, the light should turn off. Mechanics are often hesitant to turn off the light without fixing the issue due to liability issues.

What Is The Most Common Reason For The Nissan Check Engine Light?

Sensors are the most common reason that most vehicles illuminate the check engine light. The sensors could indicate damage to certain components or malfunction. However, the risk of not fixing them could range from nothing to severe. It is best to check the codes with an OBD scanner and find out what is illuminating the light.


An avid car enthusiast, I love spending time researching new cars and seeing how technology improves each year. With a passion for cars, I often find problems with certain vehicles and believe these should be addressed to ensure everyone can have a happy driving experience. I spend hours on the road each year and having driven numerous cars, I have encountered some basic and unique problems. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with you to help you prevent and even deal with some of these issues before they become fatal!!!

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