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Check Engine light

kurokuro Posts: 8
edited October 2014 in General
Check Engine light questions.


  • kurokuro Posts: 8
    88 Integra with 130,000 mi. After running at freeway speed for about three minutes, check engine light comes on (doesn't when driving on city streets). If engine is shut off momentarily, light does not come back on for awhile. Doesn't appear to be any performance effects. Mechanic checked computer--said there was no code. Anyone have an idea?
  • aktakt Posts: 1
    I have the opposite problem with my 91 Tercel w/ 60k miles: Comes on during city driving, but then turns off when on the freeway. Sometimes it stays on for a few days, sometimes just a few minutes. And the times it comes on is just as eradic. My Tercel also doesn't seem to have any performance effects...
  • I'm having the same problem with my 96 Acura Integra. The check engine light keeps coming on and going off by itself (about 5 times in the last 250 miles). I've only bought it 1 week ago, and I'm a little worried about it. Anybody ran any OBDII diagnostics on a car with a flaky check engine light?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    these things can drive you crazy sometimes and there isn't always an answer readily available. You might all check your catalytic converters, especially on the cars with higher mileages, if no codes come up.
  • jags3jags3 Posts: 1
    The most "common cause" of the "check engine" light is the Exhaust Gas Recirculation
    (E.G.R.) valve on most Asian vehicles. Although
    it is sometimes quite disconcerting to have the
    light come on it is usually not harmful to the engine or it's performance. The E.G.R. valve is
    exposed to high temperatures and it can get
    "carbon fouled" easily and therefore send a
    signal to the Electronic Control Module (E.C.M.)
    that there may be a problem (not necessarily
    a significant one).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, that's a good suggestion...on some cars, if the EGR valve and the tube that routes it are clogged, that can get pricey, they're hard to clean out. But you should have gotten a code on that, I would think. Definitely worth checking!
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    This is in reference to akt's Tercel and kuro's Integra -

    Another cause of the check engine light coming on in a higher-mileage car is a faulty oxygen sensor.

    Should still store a code, though. Shouldn't anything that causes the light to go on store a code?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You'd think so, but he says no, so we're trying to diagnose based on that information.
  • On most fords the check engine light comes on for no other reason but to get you to take the car in for a tune up and check up. (at about 60,000 miles). There is a reset the repair person resets to clear the light. On a van is is on the passenger side , in front of the door, hid behind the side panel. Hold in reset, turn on key switch, then release the reset switch.
  • I bought my new 323i and was cruising around to break in the engine when my check engine light came on. I come from the discipline that treats engine lights as the almighty word, so when my dealer told me it was because I didn't tighten my gas cap all the way I almost went ballistic. Does anyone else think there should be a separate light for exhaust/emissions problems that need to be attended to, but don't neccessitate panic?
  • kurokuro Posts: 8
    The mechanic referred said that the manual mentions "intermittent" warning lights, as possibly explaining why the computer is not holding a code. If the engine is shut off just for an instant, the light doesn't come back on until the engine is run for awhile, which may explain why. Is it posssible to check the computer (which unfortunately is located under the passenger seat) without first shutting off the engine?
  • The mechanic that was working on my 96 Integra (14k miles) with a flaky check-engine light, told me that they found a loose wire in a connector. They thought they fixed it, but the light kept coming back on. Now they've ordered a new wiring harness for it. We'll see if that fixes it.

    Kuro, one (expensive) way to diagnose your problem, might be getting a diagnostic module yourself ($250). You need a laptop for it, but I think you can just run it while you are driving, and instanteneous get a readout. It also tells you other interesting things, such as engine load, oxygen sensor readings etc. Most of them in real time.
  • I have a '94 MB C280 and just had a problem with the "check engine" light coming on for about a week. As it turned out, the battery in the car dit not have enough voltage, even though the battery never died completely. The engine data code pointed to not having enough voltage. The problem went away with the replacement of the battery. I also had the entire charging system tested. Everything was fine except for the battery.

    It might warrant having the battery tested.
  • jud123jud123 Posts: 2
    My check engine light and ETSoff lights keep coming on at the same time. my car has 58,000 miles...i keep taking to the shop and every time they say its fixed but once i drive it for 35 miles (highway) the light comes back on...any comments welcomed
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    A point to intermittent fault in an O2 sensor on a pre OBD-II car (generally pre-1996) may not set a hard code. A decrease in fuel economy may indicate an O2 sensor.
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    Oops......forgot to mention one far as loose fuel cap codes, etc, most people get upset with the car manufacturer for the check engine light coming on.....remember, the check engine light and certain parameters relating to emmissions are set by the US government, not BMW, Ford, Chevy, etc.

    Also, to the person with the 96 Cavalier....if you cycle the ignition key 5 times, the check engine light will go off....until the same fault occurs again. My suggestion, cycle the key 5 times, bring your car to the used car lot, and leave the engine running, while it's being traded in...
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    another way to correct the problem is to remove the bulb......I'm sorry......that's not legal, so scratch that thought......
  • zl1zl1 Posts: 16
    does the light stay on?if so it is an emmision's issue.There is also a pressure check valve used on the cavalier to read fuel tank pressure,in other words it checks to see if the gas cap is on and what condition the cap is in.Have your mechanic go through this system.
    The valve itself is located behind the fuel injection system.
  • ratchratch Posts: 21
    Old batteries ands slipping belts are quite often the source of intermittent check engine lights.

    A word of caution -- diagnostic codes have to be understood within the context of the system's operation. If not, many mechanics start "easteregging" hoping they'll stumble into a fix.
  • So a new wiring harness didn't do it for my 96 Integra with flaky check engine light. But once the harness was replaced, the light stayed on. Finally they managed to get a code out of it, it turned out to be the evaporative cannister solenoid.
  • zl1zl1 Posts: 16
    The loose gas cap was not related to a bmw,rather a chevrolet,that info will not apply to every make and model...........
  • ratchratch Posts: 21
    1995 Dodge Intrepid 3.5 -- anybody know how to read out the codes without special equipment? Might be in the book, but so far alot of the tech data I've gotten for this product has been wrong.

    Almost as bad as working on early Japanese cars!
  • tason67tason67 Posts: 36
    My Stratus has generally been a lemon, with multiple head gasket repairs, tie rods, etc. Now at 62,000 miles, my check engine light has come on. I have not noticed any change in the way the car is running and have stopped driving it since the light came on; will take it to dealer on Tuesday. I know that there could be a myriad of problems, but in general, am I looking at an expensive repair? thanks for your help :)
  • binubinu Posts: 81
    ratch !!

    try the following URL
  • welwel Posts: 2
    96 Lexus 300
    Anyone know of problems with engine warning light
    leading to serious engine trouble or voiding of warranty at less than 30,000?
  • butter98butter98 Posts: 1
    My car is a 94 Mercury Capri convert and my engine light keeps coming on and off as I am driving. Every time the light comes on the engine kicks a little or feels like it is losing power.
    I have 150K on the car.
    what is wrong with my car
    and what should I do with it?
  • jivarojivaro Posts: 13
    I have had this "check engine" light coming on approx every 5,000 miles in my 92 Toyota Camry (105,000 miles now)since approx 90,000 miles. I have been told by various sources that the oxygen sensor gets "fouled" and thus turns on the light. I have purchased some of the high end gasoline additives (approx $12) in K-Mart, Walmart, etc. and run that through the system on an almost empty tank. The check engine light then goes off in less than 5 miles, not to be seen again for approx 5,000 miles. This seems to have helped me, with a high mileage car. For those of you with low mileage cars, perhaps the emissions settings are very sensitive and you should try a different brand of gas or a higher octane gas every few tanks. Hope this helps.
  • rcruzrcruz Posts: 5
    I had the "check engine" light come on in my new 98 Honda Civic Hatchback after 3,700 miles. At the dealer, I was told the codes indicated a misfire, which was blamed on non-detergent gasoline and too many short trips. An additive was added to the gasoline tank, to clean the fuel injectors, and I was advised to switch to Chevron, Exxon, or Texaco gasolines. I did, and the problem never reappeared. I now have 9,500 miles on the car. I always used 87 octane, both before and after the incident.
  • gingernycgingernyc Posts: 1
    My check engine light came on the weekend, and I went ballistic. I had no idea what it meant or what the problem was.

    I took my car to the dealership that MOnday and they ran a computer diagnostic check on my vehicle and only "minor" things came up.

    What sparked it off was that my spark plugs and my spark plugs wires were shot, so all i had to do was replace those, which I did and everything was fine.

    Of course the dealership tried to rip me off, because I'm a woman, they said i need a new PCV valve, air filter, fuel filter, distributor cap,so on and so forth and they would charge me $500. I looked at him like he was an alien.

    I bought the spark plugs (platinum) and the wires myself and had my friend put them in, my car is running better than ever.
  • cosmic5cosmic5 Posts: 1
    Help! I purchased a new 1999 Sebring Convertible and two days after I picked it up, the check engine light came on. I took back to dealer and diagnostics showed a fuel vapor leak, but they inspected everything and could not find it so they reset the light. Two days later, the same thing happened. The dealer said to bring back on Monday so they could work on it again. As explainedd to me, they went down a flowchart to check everything, still found no problems so replaced the fuel evaporative pump. So far they have had the car longer than I have trying to repair this problem. Went and turned the car on this morning and the light stayed on again. I am about to cry over this. Why can't they find the problem? I am planning to try to use the lemon law because I can't deal with taking the car back to them every other day. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you. One last thought, the light always stays off for one day after they have worked on it, then comes on the following morning.
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