Forum: Advice / Cars & Driving

check engine light?
By foreverlostmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 06, 2009 10:14 AM

I got my car smogged yesterday afternoon at a test only station. It was a block from my house and didnt drive it anymore yesterday after that. I got in the car to go to work today and noticed that my check engine light is on. My fiance's dad said that he would look at it after work tonight for me. Im worried. Is it something the mechanic did do you think? I really dont have a ton of money to put into this car at the moment. I also need to drive home for lunch (to eat and take some medicine) do you think it will be ok? Its only about a 3 1/2 mile drive.

Thanks!!!

4 Replies to check engine light?

re: check engine light?
By DancingDiva736member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 06, 2009 10:38 AM
Check your gas cap. I don't know if you have gotten gas in your car recently but if your gas cap isn't on the right way, or it isn't tight enough, that can cause your check engine light to go on.

I know it sounds simple, but it happened to me about two months ago. Try that first before you freak out about it. Hopefully that is all that is wrong.
re: check engine light?
By dangslowmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 06, 2009 10:48 AM
What kind of car is it? In early cars (90's) the light is just a simple heat sensor. The sensor measures the heat of the exhaust and determines if the air/fuel mixture is correct. If the computer cannot correct it, the light comes on. Most of the time, the car is ok to drive. I have an old landcruiser that I swapped in a chevy engine from 1994. The check engine code is always on, but I've been driving it for 7 years with no problems. The lovely Mrs Dangslow has a 2005 Scion that flashes the light occasionally, but because the car runs fine otherwise, we just ignore it. I have installed a "Cat-Back" exhaust in it and put in a thermostat that maintains the engine temps about 10 degrees cooler so the computer will be tricked into pumping more gas into the engine. It produces a ton of power for a dinky 1.5 liter motor, but that stupid light is still on. We bought it brand new and it now has 188 thousand on it.

I would check to see if one of the mechanics pulled a wire from your O2 sensor. It is a surefire way to make the light go on, and it's a simple fix that will smoke you for 300 bucks. The sensor is on your exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe, newer cars have up to three of them, it looks like a spark plug with a wire coming from the top.

If it were my car and the thing still ran good, with no change in gas mileage or running temperature, I would just run it. It's your car though. Final decision is yours of course.
re: check engine light?
By SunshinePointemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 06, 2009 10:48 AM
Not to give you a false impression because it COULD be something wrong but -

All three times I had a check engine light come on it was a faulty sensor.

I'd check how the car feels in idle and make sure that your other gauges read properly, your fluids are good to go.

If it was me I'd chance it but you didn't hear that from me if it is something bad :X
re: check engine light?
By DayTripper_Premium member
On Wed May 06, 2009 11:36 AM
A check engine light could be a multitude of things. It just is there to tell you that there may be a code that needs to be traced or something like an O2 sensor is bad on the car (a lot of the time, it can be an emissions issue).

I wouldn't be too worried about it. Just take it to someone that can trace the fault code and they will be able to give you a general idea (unless it's a dealership, then they can tell you exactly what it is).

Diana

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2019 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS