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Posted: 5/7/2003 7:06:47 AM EDT
They come on they go off. They come on, they go off. I perform regular maintenance, and simply ignore them unless I smell, hear or see something out of teeh ordinary. I think the auto companies do this, figuring that 25% of the population is stupid enough to actually bring it into the shop. What's your read?
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:07:46 AM EDT
the
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:11:23 AM EDT
The main problem with the check engine light is that it's triggered by too many different systems. In many cases it either means nothing or by the time you see it there's a catastrophic failure.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:14:50 AM EDT
It means something. Skip the shop, go to an autozone or similar chain store that does free computer readings. They can give you the code and tell you what it means. Local dealer wanted $85 for doing that. They also wanted another $250 to change the part I changed myself for $60.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:15:23 AM EDT
Check Engine light just generally means the computer is storing a troubleshooting code of some sort. It could be as simple as your gas cap isn't on tight enough, your 02 sensor took a crap... theres a long list... Some vehicles the code can be read with as little as a paperclip, newer vehicles you'll have to take somewhere so they can throw their computer on it. Last I knew, Autozone will hook their computer up and read codes for free, then you can decide from there if anything needs to be done about it.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:15:43 AM EDT
I agree with you. I think they are bullshit and they are triggered by too many different things.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:16:47 AM EDT
i had a 1987 Suzuki samurai that the idiot light came on at exactly dead nuts 60,000 miles. i called the manufacturer and they said it just trips off every 60K and nothing was wrong. so i pulled the bulb.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:27:57 AM EDT
Months ago my check engine light came on and it was the O2 sensor. No way I spend $200 for a f**kin O2 sensor, but the car won't pass inspection with the check engine light on, so months later come inspection time I go kicking and screaming to the shop and tell them to fix the damn thing. I just got a call back from them saying that the O2 sensor is stuck and may ruin the manafold if they force it......seems they got you coming and going.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:30:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/7/2003 7:33:24 AM EDT by nightstalker]
I just drove about 400 miles for a week's vacation. On the way home, after a light snow of 3" the "check engine" light came on. Stopped to eat and the light didn't come back. Truck was running normal all the time. The only other time I had a light was for a throttle position sensor and it was bad and caused intermittent problems until it was replaced. A Cadillac we own has the same problem and has been checked out and no obvious cause.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:32:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/7/2003 7:34:01 AM EDT by Torf]
Originally Posted By Rocketman: Months ago my check engine light came on and it was the O2 sensor. No way I spend $200 for a f**kin O2 sensor, but the car won't pass inspection with the check engine light on, so months later come inspection time I go kicking and screaming to the shop and tell them to fix the damn thing. I just got a call back from them saying that the O2 sensor is stuck and may ruin the manafold if they force it......seems they got you coming and going.
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Thats why you yank the bulb! Don't get hosed! I have gotten the check engine light twice on a 105,000 mile Dodge Stratus. Both times is was for the gas cap.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:34:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 308wood: i had a 1987 Suzuki samurai that the idiot light came on at exactly dead nuts 60,000 miles. i called the manufacturer and they said it just trips off every 60K and nothing was wrong. so i pulled the bulb.
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ditto, I've had several Geo trackers, light comes on at 60 or 70k, bulb gets pulled asap.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:53:54 AM EDT
There are several "check engine" lights and they vary by the type of vehicle. Some have a "[red]Service Required[/red]" light that is programmed to go on every 60,000 miles. It's a reminder to do the needed emission maintenance. Some have a "[red]Service Engine Soon[/red]" light that means the computer has stored a trouble code. If the light goes out on its own, that means the the condition was transient, but the code that tells what's up should be stored. Can be read by shorting a the proper connection with a paper clip or cycling the ignition key on/off in the correct sequence or by using the correct diagnostic computer--it varies widely by vehicle make, model and year. Additionally some vehicles have a "[red]Check Engine[/red]" light which means that something is drastically wrong under the hood. Could be oil pressure, could be coolant temperature, could be voltage. Who knows? Some folks here have advocated "pulling the bulb" as an effective way of dealing with these types of warning lights. [b]THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA![/b]. It is both cheaper and easier to simply cut a piece of electrical tape to the proper shape and apply it to the gauge cluster, right over the offending light.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:55:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rocketman: Months ago my check engine light came on and it was the O2 sensor. No way I spend $200 for a f**kin O2 sensor, but the car won't pass inspection with the check engine light on, so months later come inspection time I go kicking and screaming to the shop and tell them to fix the damn thing. I just got a call back from them saying that the O2 sensor is stuck and may ruin the manafold if they force it......seems they got you coming and going.
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That bad boy came on in my Mustang when I installed the exhaust without the cats. It stayed on until it burned out. I say pull the bulb.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:58:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: There are several "check engine" lights and they vary by the type of vehicle. Some have a "[red]Service Required[/red]" light that is programmed to go on every 60,000 miles. It's a reminder to do the needed emission maintenance.
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emission maintenance is hardly [b]needed[/b].
Additionally some vehicles have a "[red]Check Engine[/red]" light which means that something is drastically wrong under the hood. Could be oil pressure, could be coolant temperature, could be voltage. Who knows?
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I know because that is what the oil pressure, coolant temp and voltage gauges are for.
Some folks here have advocated "pulling the bulb" as an effective way of dealing with these types of warning lights. [b]THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA![/b]. It is both cheaper and easier to simply cut a piece of electrical tape to the proper shape and apply it to the gauge cluster, right over the offending light.
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It's also a lot uglier.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:11:25 AM EDT
Many mid-80's and newer cars area set up to trip the Check Engine light after a given number of miles. If it comes on, and stays on for a given length of time or a certain number of miles then goes off, It's just the factory saying "Go to a ( insert you cars manufacturer hear) service dealership and have them shut off the light and charge you $ 500.00 for a "tune-up". Most vehicles will tell you how to correct this by yourself in their manuals. I'm not the only one who reads those right? [:D] - Nw -
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:36:55 AM EDT
It's your car, do what you want. I'd never ignore a "Service Engine Soon" light. I've never had a car that had one come on due to mileage programming, but if I did I'd figure out where/how to turn it off. This light is an indicator of your cars health. Reading the codes is easy enough, so there's really no excuse for ignoring it. Any time this has come on for me it's been a bad O2 sensor, or driving through water has caused a bad reading in the O2 sensor. Choosing to ignore it is silly, and removing the bulb is worse. You pull the bulb, you'll never know what's wrong or if something new comes up. On the cars I'm familiar with, whenever a trouble code is stored, the computer defaults all the engine settings to a full rich mixture. The designers did this to minimize damage that a defective sensor could cause. I drove my S10 for a couple of years with a bad O2 sensor (I read the code) thinking nothing of it. I was getting 17 mpg and thought that's just what it got. I eventually changed the $20 part, and the computer was happy again. All of a sudden, I got 24 mpg. I figure I spent $300 or so in fuel I didn't have to. Your choice...
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:41:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/7/2003 8:42:02 AM EDT by MillerSHO]
I'll take my OBD1 systems ANYDAY. ODB2 is what you guys are complaining about. OBD1 is SO much less picky! When the light comes on, usually there is an actual problem. Also, the diag. port is right under the steering wheel, all I have to do is short the top 2 pins with paperclips and I know my issue. Early 90's chevy's rock! Edited to say: My buddies Jeep is another ride that trips the Check engine light at a certain amount of miles, what a joke.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 9:48:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 308wood: i had a 1987 Suzuki samurai that the idiot light came on at exactly dead nuts 60,000 miles. i called the manufacturer and they said it just trips off every 60K and nothing was wrong. so i pulled the bulb.
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Your car should have a switch under the dash to reset your light.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 10:01:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By nightstalker: I just drove about 400 miles for a week's vacation. On the way home, after a light snow of 3" the "check engine" light came on. Stopped to eat and the light didn't come back. Truck was running normal all the time. The only other time I had a light was for a throttle position sensor and it was bad and caused intermittent problems until it was replaced. A Cadillac we own has the same problem and has been checked out and no obvious cause.
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My Impala has a simular problem it comes on then will go off when I restart the car seems to happen once every 2 weeks or so. My crown vic had one for emission problem. It came and went to. Just go to autozone and check it there.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 10:05:32 AM EDT
Late model vehicles are computer controlled. The computer contantly adusts fuel trim, air fuel ratio, and ignition timing for optimum performance/gas mileage. When the computer flags a code (check engine light comes on) it is because a system is out of range or data from a sensor (02, TPI, ECT)is missing. What ever the case may be, the computer goes into limp mode to keep the car running. In limp mode the fuel mixture is over-enriched to compensate for missing running data provided by bad/out of range sensors. Since your engine can't burn all the gas the computer is sending it, carbon builds up in the intake from the EGR system cycling unburnt gas back through it. This in turn stops up EGR passages and fouls plugs out. And yes, a loose, faulty, or missing gas cap can trigger a check engine light (evap code). Panzer Out
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 10:15:05 AM EDT
Mine has been going on and off for three years now. I know what is but I wont get it fixed. The part is called a horn ring. It's been replaced once already at 6ooo miles and needs to be replaced again for $250. Ford can get screwed, I can live without a horn, everything else seems to operate on the vehicle.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 11:25:42 AM EDT
I've got this really nice flash upgradable OBDII code reader that tells you what component is causing the problem ,lets you reset the trouble codes and the check engine light. One trip to the dealer will just about pay for it.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 1:42:40 PM EDT
I am a mechanic. I never ignore the check engine light. It could be anything as simple as a loose gas cap (Evap purge code on late fords) or as bad as no oil in crankcase or no coolant. Should you get it checked? Its your car, you pays your money and takes your chances. Oh, O2 sensors usually last around 60-70k miles and are very common repairs. They usually only set at road speeds of 30mph or higher and tend to be intermittant.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 1:58:21 PM EDT
Last time my "check engine" light came on I immediately pulled over and opened up the hood. The engine was still there so I went home.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 2:17:52 PM EDT
Ive had check engine lights come on just because of dust in sensors.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 2:29:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/7/2003 2:30:05 PM EDT by MadProfessor]
I have an older honda, anytime the light comes on I simply pull up the carpet on the passenger side and look at the computer, the computer has a red blinking light that tells you the code (the code is how many times it blinks before stopping, example: 1 blink is the Oxygen Content, 16 blinks is a Fuel Injector, etc etc) and then I fix whatever needs it.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 2:37:49 PM EDT
my check engine meter rolls over after certain mileage...
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 3:22:44 PM EDT
You guys are getting close...OBDII cars (1996 and later) trigger a CEL (check engine light) whenever there is a DTC (diagnostic trouble code) which could affect emissions. Some makes use a flashing CEL to indicate immediate trouble which could damage the engine or pose a safety issue. OBDII is an industry-wide approach to maintaining the emission-control equipment efficiency without the need for specialized diagnostic equipment. This is Federal Law, not something the automakers created to stiff independent mechanics. The scanners are available for any car from many sources BUT you are limited to the SAE codes...diagnostic efforts can still be difficult. With OBDII, gone are the mandatory 60k mile O2 sensor changeout lights and other age-dependent service indicators. If something isn't broke, it's USUALLY not going to set off a CEL BUT there is always a few exceptions. My 2000 VW Jetta TDI had a persistent CEL (I have a near-factory VW tool called a Vag-Com, does everything the dealer's tool does but is only $200). This fault was with the glowplug resistance (its a diesel) and turns out that dirty connections were the problem. 5 minutes with a Dremel and the problem has been gone for 20 k miles.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:23:10 PM EDT
I've had the check engine light come on in both of my Nissans. On my truck it was a kinked vacuum hose, replacing it solved the rough idle problem I'd been meaning to get around to. On my wife's Sentra it was a faulty mass air flow sensor and replacing it raised her fuel mileage by 5mph. In both cases I read the diagnostic codes myself so I knew what the problem was before letting a mechanic look at it. Now what was your problem with these lights?
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