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Thread: Car Advice

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    A pox on whoever came up with the check engine light. Mine comes on once in a while, then goes off. I've learned to live with it, like an obnoxious relative.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    A pox on whoever came up with the check engine light. Mine comes on once in a while, then goes off. I've learned to live with it, like an obnoxious relative.
    For reals! Whenever the light comes on, I always pop the hood and check the engine. It's always still there.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    For reals! Whenever the light comes on, I always pop the hood and check the engine. It's always still there.
    even a lot of repair guys say to ignore it (except at inspection time). The readout often says it's an oxygen sensor even when it doesn't need one, then the light goes off. Who the heck knows?

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    even a lot of repair guys say to ignore it (except at inspection time). The readout often says it's an oxygen sensor even when it doesn't need one, then the light goes off. Who the heck knows?
    Invest in an OBD reader with wifi or bluetooth. Less than $15 online.
    Hooks up to your phone and tells you all the codes.
    On models of a certain vintage it can allow you to clear the codes so you can pass inspection more easily.

    My current vehicle works the other way though, being more of a pain to get inspected after clearing.
    After I fixed the issues that were throwing codes and cleared it out, I had to drive it for about an hour to get it to complete the required tests to pass inspection.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    even a lot of repair guys say to ignore it (except at inspection time). The readout often says it's an oxygen sensor even when it doesn't need one, then the light goes off. Who the heck knows?
    The check engine light will usually flash for things that would be considered urgent. Solid check engine light is usually just emissions related (which in turn is frequently just a sensor issue).

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    The check engine light will usually flash for things that would be considered urgent. Solid check engine light is usually just emissions related (which in turn is frequently just a sensor issue).
    Yep. If it isnít red I ignore it.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBlue View Post
    For every day use Iím still driving a 2001 Toyota Corolla. 300,000 miles and I drove it to an audition in Boston last week. The headliner has been waving around for about two years and I finally got tired of it when half of it flew out the window like Katharine Hepburnís scarf billowing in the wind while driving down the highway in a 1920s roadster. Pulled Into a rest area in New Jersey whipped out a box cutter and performed a quick headliner-ectomy, Added a quart of 50 W 15 motor oil and blasted down the highway again. For at least two years Iíve been trying to solve a check engine light problem. Toyota has run two diagnostics and canít tell me what the problem is but they swear itís not an oxygen sensor. I was about to scrap the car for good because it couldnít pass inspection when I learned that In Durham county at least, cars 20 years and older only have to pass a mechanical inspection not an emissions test. So the check engine light no longer poses a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Yep. If it isnít red I ignore it.
    Or... the tried-and-true fix... put black tape over the light

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rougemont Nebulae
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Yep. If it isnít red I ignore it.
    Actually that is an inadvisable ďrepairĒ. Now with 300,000 miles I no longer care. But when the car was more vital to my interests I let a check engine light go too long. It was yellow never red. It turned out to be an O2 sensor downstream of the catalytic converter. As Iím sure you know those sensors send messages to the carís computer which adjusts the mixture of gases it sends to the combustion chamber and when they are faulty they send inaccurate data Causing the computer to alter the mixture And ultimately foul out the catalytic converter. Happened to me and it was a rather expensive repair to say the least.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBlue View Post
    Actually that is an inadvisable ďrepairĒ. Now with 300,000 miles I no longer care. But when the car was more vital to my interests I let a check engine light go too long. It was yellow never red. It turned out to be an O2 sensor downstream of the catalytic converter. As Iím sure you know those sensors send messages to the carís computer which adjusts the mixture of gases it sends to the combustion chamber and when they are faulty they send inaccurate data Causing the computer to alter the mixture And ultimately foul out the catalytic converter. Happened to me and it was a rather expensive repair to say the least.
    I've been advised (correctly or not) that if the car keeps running fine, the oxygen sensor is OK...even my repair guy says he gets tons of unnecessary oxygen sensor warnings that come and go. But I agree, I don't want a fouled catalytic converter...

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I've been advised (correctly or not) that if the car keeps running fine, the oxygen sensor is OK...even my repair guy says he gets tons of unnecessary oxygen sensor warnings that come and go. But I agree, I don't want a fouled catalytic converter...
    Get a Marty catalytic converter. Marty doesnít foul.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by TruBlu View Post
    Get a Marty catalytic converter. Marty doesnít foul.
    I thought it was Armando who didn't foul, but I wouldn't want one of his catalytic converters.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    No. Thereís a distinct difference:

    Marty doesnít foul, but gets called.

    Armando fouls, but doesnít get called.

    Class dismissed Ö or in uncís case, never started.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by TruBlu View Post
    No. Thereís a distinct difference:

    Marty doesnít foul, but gets called.

    Armando fouls, but doesnít get called.

    Class dismissed Ö or in uncís case, never started.
    Must spread... POD!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    https://ecogreen.greentechaffiliate.com

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    A pox on whoever came up with the check engine light. Mine comes on once in a while, then goes off. I've learned to live with it, like an obnoxious relative.
    It's the tire-pressure light on my car (Camry Hybrid). It comes on, goes off, sometimes on the same drive, for no apparent reason, certainly not related to low tire pressure. The mechanics at my local Toyota dealer tell me they can't fix it, can't turn it off and seem to have never heard of the boy that cried wolf. So, when I do have a nail in my tire, I'll ignore the light and get a flat tire driving back from Cameron on I-40 at midnight.

    BTW, my son had the same issue with his Corolla. Is this just a Toyota thing or do people have this issue with other cars?

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    It's the tire-pressure light on my car (Camry Hybrid). It comes on, goes off, sometimes on the same drive, for no apparent reason, certainly not related to low tire pressure. The mechanics at my local Toyota dealer tell me they can't fix it, can't turn it off and seem to have never heard of the boy that cried wolf. So, when I do have a nail in my tire, I'll ignore the light and get a flat tire driving back from Cameron on I-40 at midnight.

    BTW, my son had the same issue with his Corolla. Is this just a Toyota thing or do people have this issue with other cars?
    Donít know about a Toyota, but GM cars use a speed sensor on each wheel. It is used to monitor tire pressure, control ABS, and traction control. A faulty one or a poor connection (which isnít uncommon, due to corrosion and vibration) can cause a problem with intermittent false service codes (speaking from experience). I would think that a Toyota error code diagnostics tool would be able to isolate the problem, in the hands of a competent mechanic. Good luck!

  16. #56
    We had similar challenges with a Toyota-made vehicle. The TPMS light was constantly going on and off and I blamed the vehicle. Various repair shops had different theories but none fixed it. It was a mystery as the four tires all were properly inflated. Some wanted to replace all the TPMS sensors for a hefty fee. Turns out the spare was low on air, an issue I'd never considered. Suggest you invest in a decent tire pressure gauge if you don't have one. They can be found for $10 or less at any auto parts store, and provide good peace of mind. I always thought I could eyeball whether or not a tire was properly inflated. Turns out that's not the case.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by TruBlu View Post
    Donít know about a Toyota, but GM cars use a speed sensor on each wheel. It is used to monitor tire pressure, control ABS, and traction control. A faulty one or a poor connection (which isnít uncommon, due to corrosion and vibration) can cause a problem with intermittent false service codes (speaking from experience). I would think that a Toyota error code diagnostics tool would be able to isolate the problem, in the hands of a competent mechanic. Good luck!
    Ah, the ABS sensor. A few years ago I got the ABS signal on my dashboard and was thinking major repair bill...local guy (who is limited in his knowledge) said it was going to be a hefty bill, but on a hunch I went to the non-dealer Volvo specialist (Swedish Pit!) where he got me an inexpensive new sensor, problem solved, ABS system was fine. Seems to me these days, with the complexity of cars, having a guy who specializes in your brand of vehicle, but is not necessarily a dealer, is a major plus.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Book_Face View Post
    We had similar challenges with a Toyota-made vehicle. The TPMS light was constantly going on and off and I blamed the vehicle. Various repair shops had different theories but none fixed it. It was a mystery as the four tires all were properly inflated. Some wanted to replace all the TPMS sensors for a hefty fee. Turns out the spare was low on air, an issue I'd never considered. Suggest you invest in a decent tire pressure gauge if you don't have one. They can be found for $10 or less at any auto parts store, and provide good peace of mind. I always thought I could eyeball whether or not a tire was properly inflated. Turns out that's not the case.
    I was going to suggest checking the spare tire's pressure, as there is a sensor in there, too. Glad you did!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    https://ecogreen.greentechaffiliate.com

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by TruBlu View Post
    Get a Marty catalytic converter. Marty doesnít foul.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    I thought it was Armando who didn't foul, but I wouldn't want one of his catalytic converters.
    Donít get a Hansbrough catalytic converter, youíll be walking everywhere.
    ďI do not think that word means what you think it means.Ē

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    I moved. Now 12 miles from Heaven, 13 from Hell
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    I was going to suggest checking the spare tire's pressure, as there is a sensor in there, too. Glad you did!
    I'll second (third?) this recommended check. Happened to me, too. (Usually in early November or so, when the temperature goes down.)

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