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"check engine" light

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by douglas, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. douglas

    douglas Chocolate Milk Doug

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    any ideas why after sitting for 2-3 months the check engine light will now stay on?

    details: 98 grand cherokee, had to jump start, and it was tough to start, kept stalling - would idle up, I'd let off the gas and then it would stall - I had to keep the revs up for a while to get it to not stall.


    thanks
     

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  2. jacksonpt

    jacksonpt Turbo Monkey

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    bad gas? fouled plugs? just guesses really.
     
  3. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    It's probably a sensor :devil:
     
  4. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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    stuck sensor...... could be anything....
     
  5. I Are Baboon

    I Are Baboon Run, Forrest, Run!

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    I'd check the engine.
     
  6. TreeSaw

    TreeSaw Mama Monkey

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    Hmmm....could be a fuel injection problem, dirty fuel filter or air filter as well or perhaps something to do with the Catalitic (I have no idea how to spell it) converter. I had some similar issues with my stratus.
     
  7. ALEXIS_DH

    ALEXIS_DH Tirelessly Awesome

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    a check engine light is just because a sensor is not working right.
    if the car doesnt idle fine, and you have to step on it. check all the filters first.
     
  8. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Or maybe that control computer under the dash is fried. :dead:

    Those fuggin' things cost a bloody fortune.
     
  9. douglas

    douglas Chocolate Milk Doug

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    ugh.....the gas is really low, I know some people have had vapor lock(gas) that made the light go on, I was going to put some primium in it today.......sucks cause the inspection is expired and I dont want to have to spend $$ to be able to sell it


    I :nuts: myself for being lazy and not selling it months ago
     
  10. stinkyboy

    stinkyboy Plastic Santa

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    Dude I used to know wrenched at a Chrysler dealership told me they come on at mileage intervals (60,000, etc.). He reset my Wrangler light that was stuck on for a 12 pack of Budweiser. :dead:
     
  11. Sorgie

    Sorgie Monkey

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    When my car sits out in a heavy rain the check engine light comes on, then goes off after I drive enough to dry out whatever sensor got wet. If it's running okay I would just drive it around (not far from home ;) ) and see if it goes off. The easiest fix would be to put electrical tape over the light...all Gone! :sneaky: :D
     
  12. ghostrider

    ghostrider 7034 miles, still no custom title

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    Best thing to do is ignore the nebulous 'check engine' warning and wait for something more obvious to occur, such as a blown head gasket.
     
  13. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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    Could be an O2 sensor, too.


    Our Mustang's* light goes on and off at random intervals.









    *It was free.
     
  14. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    The infamous "check engine light". I hate it. Did you know that on some vehicles, the light will go on (and stay on) if your gas cap isn't tight enough?

    They want upwards of $200 to diagnose and turn the light off... even if it went on for no serious reason. I hope the light burns out cuz it's on... again.
     
  15. douglas

    douglas Chocolate Milk Doug

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    umm, yeah but I want to SELL it !

    maybe theres cobwebs in the muffler :blah: , I'll drive it around a bit after I put some fresh gas in
     
  16. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    I'd say perhaps a fouled O2 sensor in the exhaust system. The "Check Engine" light generally refers to the emissions system.

    I know if I put a batch of gas in the car, from a station that has just filled their holding tanks, my car will run like **** for months and the check engine light will pop on and such.
     
  17. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    If it's a Subaru you can turn it off yourself. Way I see it - if it's actually something wrong, it'll come on again. :D

    The only things that I've ever been told by a "professional" reading the codes was:

    1) Misfire on cylinder X
    2) Probably a loose gas cap

    I think one of the local auto parts stores will read your code for free (in hopes of selling you a part to fix whatever set it off). Autozone, maybe?
     
  18. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Just find a place that does free diagnosis and have 'em diagnose it. You don't have to get it fixed, and they may say that the computer codes were relating to something stupid that doesn't need attention.
     
  19. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    With a Subaru, this is almost *always* the case, apparently. :mad:
     
  20. -dustin

    -dustin boring

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    what stoney said...take it to Autozone and get the code.

    with Toyotas, the CEL is generally an O2 sensor, or the MAF. likely the MAF, which can be cleaned by most anyone.
     
  21. I Are Baboon

    I Are Baboon Run, Forrest, Run!

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    I don't know if other manufacturers/dealers do this, but Acura used to set my light to go ON once my next scheduled oil change came around. I friggin HATED that. Subaru does not appear to do that.
     
  22. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Subaru does not.

    But apparently they set it to come on for random, annoying crap. :p
     
  23. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Yeah. I just took to removing the fuse for about 10 minutes and resetting the light that way.
     
  24. C.P.

    C.P. Monkey

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    Best purchase I made last year: Carchip
    All cars since 1996 have what's called a ODBII connector.
    It's the recepticle your mechanic plugs his shop computer into to access your veichles on board diagnostics (read computer).

    A car chip is a basic version of the tool your mechanic uses to download the codes that your vehicles on board diagnostics originally generated (which show up to you as a lousy "check engine" light.)

    http://www.davisnet.com/drive/products/carchip_products.asp

    The codes are generated when a sensor senses a condition that is out of the default range for normal (and safe) operating conditions. With the codes you can diagnose the problem a LOT easier. You ca also RESET the check engine light!!
    I got mine on ebay - it was the best 50 bucks I ever spent.
     
  25. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Which fuse?
     
  26. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    One of the big green ones. I think on my '97 Outback it's the #2 big green one. :D
     
  27. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    LMAO!

    and like jerry seinfeld said about roadside breakdowns, most men have zero clue but get out of the car anyway, stride purposefully to the popped hood, look at the engine, and hope there's a huge switch that's suddenly been set to the "OFF" position.
     
  28. dh girlie

    dh girlie MISS MISSY (geek)

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    Hmmm...that sounds like what just happened to me...my battery was bad...got a new one and it runs like a champ...but as for the check engine light...mine came on and turns out I needed just a new gas cap...
     
  29. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Under the hood I'm assuming?
     
  30. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Yup. Do a google groups search for check engine and fuse.
     
  31. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Damnit, I'm finding nothing but Toyota crap.
     
  32. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Got it, now to find out which green fuse it is.

    DAMNIT WHERE IS MY SUBARU REPAIR MANUAL!
     
  33. Ian F

    Ian F Turbo Monkey

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    Yikes... :think:

    Either go to Autozone and have them scan it or spend a few bucks for an OBD-II code-reader and do it yourself. The nice thing about these tools is they are universal for all US market cars made after '97.

    A CEL when the engine seems to run fine usually means something in EVAP system is malfunctioning. Often, it's a vacuum problem and a new gas cap will fix it.

    A CEL when the engine runs like crap usually means something is broken.

    A bad battery and inconsistant voltage will also trigger a CEL. How well does your desktop run with a bad power supply?

    The code reader will tell you which is right and allow you to turn off the CEL.

    Modern CEL and the OBD-II systems are great. For a cheap code-reader, just about any running problem can be diagnosed and fixed. I wish it were so easy on my '73 Volvo...
     
  34. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Sorry. Limit the search to alt.autos.subaru
     
  35. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Don't sweat it - the fuses are all numbered on a little piece of paper on the underside of the fuse box cover. :thumb:
     
  36. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Gotttt it. I completely didn't think of the diagram on the underside of the lid. Damnit, I'm so far off today it's sick.

    Now lets see if in 15 minutes, I'm sans CEL.
     
  37. HOOWAH

    HOOWAH Monkey

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    you should be able to get the code manually without a code reader, and then search for the engine codes for your make and model on the net or call autozone. here's how it's done. (i know this works for gm, ford, and dodge, but should work for all).

    get in the car and put the key in the ignition.

    you have to turn the key in the ignition 3 times in a row on and off (but don't turn it so far that the car starts, only so the radio and lights come on) and then leave it on. it's a fairly quick action that goes like this:

    turn key to on; quickly turn off;
    turn key to on; quickly turn off;
    turn key to on; leave it on;

    after this the check engine light will start flashing a sequence. it will be a few short flashes and short pauses followed by a long pause to seperate the numbers. count the number of short flashes in each number and string it together to find the code. if there is more than one code it gets confusing, but you should be able to figure it out.

    so a code 232 would be;
    flash flash;
    pause;
    flash flash flash;
    pause;
    flash flash;
    long pause then repeats, or moves to next code.

    then search the net, or call autozone or whatever and find the reason for the code. sometimes a common cause is a blip in the oxygen sensor for a split second and then the light just stays on.
     
  38. blt2ride

    blt2ride Turbo Monkey

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    It sounds like it might be the O2 sensor. However, since the check engine light is on, I would take to a mechanic who can hook it up to a computer.
     
  39. C.P.

    C.P. Monkey

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    Good tip - although I think this method is only useful with OBDI equipped vehicles, not OBDII.
     
  40. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Success! No more CEL!