Check Engine Light

Discussion in 'Automotive' started by Von Jones, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I purchased my used Jeep back in 2013 and my check engine light has always been lit up. I was asked by the mechanic why I hadn't said anything about before. My response 'Because I thought it was suppose to be showing :rolleyes:.' 'Doesn't it flash on and off when something is wrong?' His response, 'Ah, the problem has probably gotten worse then.'

    Well, he did check the vehicle out and found some small things that were easily corrected and told me to call him if the check engine light comes back on. And after a while it did come back on but I didn't call.

    So I was at Kroger one Sunday and my Jeep just wouldn't start - no power - nothing. I asked a guy who was getting ready to leave for his help - he couldn't but asked his friend if he could check it out. Problem: battery cable was loose.

    So it happened again and I got under the hood and moved the cable a bit and the Jeep started. I was concerned by this so I checked out Youtube and found a temporary solution. I didn't really want to do it but I had this awful thought cross my mind.

    What if the cable came loose after I locked the vehicle? How would I even get in it? What damage would occur if I called Roadside Assistance for help, not to mention the cost?

    With that said, I found a small screw and placed it so the cable wouldn't move. No check engine light so I wonder if that has been the probably all along.
     
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  2. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    WoW !! I hope the solution is as simple as that Von.... sometimes they really are!!
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    You can’t use your car key to get into the car if it is locked, @Von Jones ? I don’t know about the newer vehicles, but the one we had that had the little key ring unlocking device would also unlock in the usual way by putting the key in the lock.
     
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  4. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    We have an interface mechanism under the dash that can be read via IPhone to detect most problems. The thing is, even if a problem is detected and solved, the check engine light likes to stay on because it needs to be reset to turn off.
    Just about every automotive parts store has the devices but the caveat is that the interface will not necessarily detect the exact location of the problem especially if it’s intermittent. A thing like a loose battery cable would probably just show up as electrical which is a pretty wide range of possibilities.

    The major stores like NAPA, PEP Boys,, Midas and a couple of others have people who will go out to your car and hook up to either diagnose a problem and / or reset the caution light. It normally doesn’t cost anything but a thank you and a hand shake but even if it cost 5 beans or so it’s a lot cheaper than going to a shop.
     
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  5. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    Interesting! That oil light being on sounds like a malfunction of the electronic sensor that senses low oil level. I can't see how the cable could be the problem. If you haven't already, get a battery brush and brush shiny the battery post and also the inside of the cable. Get it tight and then COAT the cable with a protective spray. If the cable won't tighten, then consider replacing it.

     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  7. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Von Jones Is the light a check engine or an engine oil level light? Some vehicles have a light that comes on when time to change oil and must be reset after changing the oil. Many of the quicky oil change place never take the time or have the know how to reset the light. It could be after you lost power (loose cable) that the light reset itself sort of like rebooting a computer. I bet this is what happened. Do you change your own oil or have it done?
     
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  8. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    I bought a Check Engine Code Reader that plugs into our vehicle and will give me a code to look up. Along with the code number, the Reader can tell me what the problem is. I also have an electronic battery checker. Attach it to a vehicle or boat battery and it will tell me the condition of the battery.

    When the Check Engine Light comes on, the onboard computer is telling the driver that something is wrong and needs checking out.

    We put a key locking gas cap on our Durango. Apparently, it wasn't securing nearly as tight as the regular gas cap and the Check Engine Light came on...…..some fuel fumes were escaping from where the key locking gas cap was on. I used the Check Engine Code Reader and my iPhone to find out what the problem was. I took off the key locking gas cap and put the old one back on. With my Check Engine Code Reader I reset the light (shut it off) and no problem since.

    Remember years ago, the old "idiot lights" on the dash? One would come on and it was "freak out" time.
     
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  9. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    @Faye Fox. it is definitely a loose battery cable. I was at Autozone to find out if I needed a special tool to tighten the cable and no it's not. When I got back in the Jeep it would not start so I was under the hood and fiddled with it until I got it to start. It wasn't real loose but enough to lose contact with the battery.
     
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  10. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    @Cody Fousnaugh I was asked if I had put gas in the Jeep by the mechanic as well but that wasn't the problem. Good piece of information for future reference.
     
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  11. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Von Jones is the engine check light still staying off? If jiggling the cable gives a good enough contact to start the engine, then you need to clean the battery terminal and also the cable which should be tighten enough that it will not move if twisted by hand. Also maybe where the cable connects to the solenoid needs cleaning and tightening.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  12. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    We buy the 4-Synthetic Blend Oil Change Program from Dodge Dealer. I use to change oil, but that was way before I met my wife. I'd have to buy an Oil Disposal Box from Pep Boys, buy the oil/oil filter, crawl under my vehicle, undo the oil pan plug and try not to get my hand/arm soaked with oil. Put the plug back in and use an Oil Filter Wrench to take off the oil filter and put on a new one. Those days are long gone!
     
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  13. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    The CE light is still off. I plan to do this tomorrow after I check out some more Youtube videos and get my confidence up otherwise I'll find some one to do it for me.

    How do you know so much about car care?
     
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  14. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    Yep! Me too and all the tuneups, filter changes, sparks plugs, points, etc., on everything, cars, trucks, tractors, chainsaws, you name it. That is just ranch or farm life. I feel for Von having to deal with automotive issues. Not only can they cost a lot, but be a real inconvenience.
     
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  15. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Von Jones
    I grew up on a ranch! As only child my dad taught me all about vehicles. Also living alone most of my life, I learned to be a DIY girl. I don't know as much about mechanical as I do the electrical as I had 4 years trade school in electrical and electronics. All that knowledge is not all that usuful now with everything being disposable, but your problem is an easy one. I can't tell you how many batteries, cables, alternators, and starters I have replaced. I can't and/or won't do it anymore.

    The CE light being off conforms what I said above and nothing to worry about. What model is your Jeep?
     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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