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Check engine light goes off and on. Need to worry?
Old 08-23-2019, 01:40 PM   #1
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Check engine light goes off and on. Need to worry?

I own a 2007 Chevy Aveo with 65,000 miles. About two months ago, the check engine light came on, stayed on for a few days, then went off for about a week.Then came back on again for couple of days, then went off again for another week or two. Right now it is off.

Is there anything to be concerned about? About 2 years ago it came on and the throttle body had to be replaced. Six months ago, it came on but it was due to gas cap not securing properly. Both of these times the light stayed on.

Just looking for advice.

Thanks
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:54 PM   #2
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Have it checked out. Some chain auto parts stores may do this for free. Otherwise, your auto shop will take care of it.

It can be frustrating. One time, the dealer couldn't get a code after the light had been on for a couple of days, then went off and stayed off for a long time. But most of the time, they've been able to find something and fix the issue.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:55 PM   #3
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Take to someone who has the equipment to get the codes. They tell you what components are complaining.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:57 PM   #4
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Otherwise, just give it time. It''ll let you know eventually.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:59 PM   #5
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automotive check engine lights are the equivalent of IAI aircraft... a single light on the dash that can mean anything from "your engine is on fire" to "a door is ajar".
Take it in to have the code read... from there you can figure out if its something serious or not.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:09 PM   #6
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You can buy a device that plugs into the car OBD (Onboard Diagnostic) port, which then talks wirelessly to your smartphone via the Bluetooth or WiFi link to display a more detailed message.

Or places like Autozone or Checker Autopart may do it for you for free.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:12 PM   #7
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Get an OBDII scanner. Lots of times it is a loose gas cap if it says it is an emissions control problem. The scanner should have a reset the codes option.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
You can buy a device that plugs into the car OBD (Onboard Diagnostic) port, which then talks wirelessly to your smartphone via the Bluetooth or WiFi link to display a more detailed message.

Or places like Autozone or Checker Autopart may do it for you for free.
+1 on that.

Here's the one I bought 5 years ago, just ~ $13 (cheaper and more flexible than any handheld scanner), and free phone/tablet app for access.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



The app will tell you the codes, with a history, and you can even reset them. NOTE - this won't allow you to pass a State Emission test - you need to complete a 'drive cycle' before they will show a 'ready' status. But at least the device will show you if they are 'ready', so you don't waste a trip to the test station.

-ERD50
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for all who replied. I will look into it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:38 PM   #10
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another inexpensive code reader w/ CD code explainer.
https://www.amazon.com/Coldcedar-ELM...ateway&sr=8-15

And this video shows where the OBD2 Plug goes in.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:28 PM   #11
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On most cars just turn the key from the off to the run position 3 times back and forth and then the codes will display on the dash then you can google the code. Do not start the car.

Check this video
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:32 PM   #12
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What is this "key" you speak of?
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:39 PM   #13
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Ignition Key however it may not work for the Chevy, can't find any where that says that it will. Works great on PT Cruiser and I think all Chrysler models.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:45 PM   #14
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Penny never worried about it & she did just fine.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:16 PM   #15
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A little piece of electrical tape will fix it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:58 PM   #16
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A little piece of electrical tape will fix it.
I actually did that once many years ago.... Got tired of looking at it...
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:09 PM   #17
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The likely reason the light is going on and then off and coming back is that you have some sensor that is starting to fail. The CEL is just the display the car's computer letting you know something is operating out of normal range. In your case it seems to be intermittent, but the offending part code will be stored in the car's computer and a scan tool will be able to read the code and help identify the problem. Just remember that a specific code may be caused by several factors, it is not always just one sensor. That is where a knowledgeable mechanic or someone with more advanced scanning tool can determine exactly what is going on that is causing it to set the code for out of operational range.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:43 PM   #18
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A little piece of electrical tape will fix it.
Some problems, like an engine misfire CEL, shouldn't be ignored. Or you can fry the catalytic converter by ignoring some CEL's.

That's the problem with the electric tape fix. It'll hide all the subsequent problems too.

If my car seems to be running ok, I like to clear the CEL with a scan tool, and see if the light comes on again.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:13 AM   #19
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A code just throws you into a direction of what to look for. Often you can just lookup the code number in the internet and it'll tell you the most often fix for that specific code.

Often it can be just a sensor that's about as easy as a spark plug to replace. Or, an ABS code can be a dirty wheel sensor that can be cleaned with Dawn. Throttle body problems are often just dust on the mass air flow sensor that can be sprayed with an aerosol cleaner.

And if it's a serious issue, you need to have a good independent mechanic shop that can address the problem. I avoid car dealership service departments like the plague--unless the factory's paying for the repair. My shop charges $40 per labor hour--less than half what dealerships are charging.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:20 PM   #20
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Toyota covered repairs on my 2012 Tacoma when check engine light came on. Known issue that was not under recall but they extended repair/replace warranty for certain fault codes. Repaired earlier this year.
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