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Discussion Starter #1
My missus, Sheila, came in yesterday to say the engine management light was on in her car. Good old Friday the 13th....

Damn! I'm thinking catalyst, ECU, bug bucks. She says tomorrow in the light just open the hood and check for loose wires. Hah, I say modern cars, you open the hood and there is an acre of plastic, you can't even see the engine!

So today I go out and switch on the engine, yep, engine management light on. Try a couple of more times, still the light is on.

Ok, lets open the hood. Now this is a little Suzuki Swift (pic of similar car below) , don't know if you have them in the USA but they are tiny. About the size of the new Mini. They are also a bit 'old school' in that there isn't acres of plastic under the hood.

Damn, now I may have to admit to Sheila that I have no idea what I'm looking at... So I go around the engine pressing on various plugs and wiggling wires.

Well, that's the end of my expert input, so I go to try the engine.......

Engine starts, no engine management light.. wha...?

Try again, no light. And again, no light.

So she's right yet again. This is the third time in a week she has gotten the solution to a problem, the best one, apart from the car, was my Tom Tom satnav which stopped getting signals from the satilites. I was ready to buy a new one until she suggested going onto the net to search a fix, which I did and - yes, it is now fixed.

I'm now sending her out to buy a lottery ticket.....
 

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Ahhhh- She Who Must be Obeyed! Aren't you lucky to have her-look at how much money she's saved you!:eek:

Suzuki is no longer selling new cars in the US, unfortunately. We have a 10 yr old Suzuki that just keeps going and going! We'd buy another if we could!
 
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Dear Ask Sheila: I have a small issue with my 1995 Ford F-150 truck. :cool:
 
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When the "Check Engine" light comes on, before you do anything​ else, go buy a new gas cap. Odds are that you will solve the problem for about $4.00!
 

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The days of the shadetree mechanic are gone for ever..I will keep my old cars that I can work on without a zillion dollars worth of tools..
 

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When the "Check Engine" light comes on, before you do anything​ else, go buy a new gas cap. Odds are that you will solve the problem for about $4.00!

Gas cap was loose on my 2013 GMC work truck. Dash info cluster actually told me to tighten gas cap. Previous GMC truck..a 2006, I think...would have the check light come on and even if you did tighten gas cap, it would take about 24 hours to reset. But the gas cap did make the light come on.
 
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Ahhhh- She Who Must be Obeyed! Aren't you lucky to have her-look at how much money she's saved you!:eek:

Suzuki is no longer selling new cars in the US, unfortunately. We have a 10 yr old Suzuki that just keeps going and going! We'd buy another if we could!
Sekol, you know she pulled that wire to get the engine light to come on so she could tell Corrado to just go wiggle a wire to make the engine light go off so she would look like a miracle worker. It is a female conspiracy to make wimmins look like they are better than men. At least that's what my girlfriend told me when i caught her loosening my lugnuts.:sarcasm:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sheila says that all problems can be solved with common sense, apparently something we men lack.

I'm staying out of this as I am too close for comfort - you guys are safe over there.....
 

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It's a ruse. She is working towards a new car. If she keeps correctly diagnosing the problems....then one day she will tell you:

" Well, this time it's a bigger problem, might as well just buy a brand new BMW." And if you argue: "Haven't I always been right before?"
 

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Gas cap was loose on my 2013 GMC work truck. Dash info cluster actually told me to tighten gas cap. Previous GMC truck..a 2006, I think...would have the check light come on and even if you did tighten gas cap, it would take about 24 hours to reset. But the gas cap did make the light come on.
The computers on cars will pull tests while you are driving, usually when you are maintaining a speed of apprxoimately 50 mph for 2 minutes or so (varies by vehicle). If it fails one of the tests (usually an EVAP), it will set a code and light the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp/Check Engine Light). If the computer pulls the test again and it passes, or after so many cycles of the key without the problem being detected, the light will go out. The key cycle numbers vary by vehicle and according to the code set but can be anywhere from 5 to 100 (1 startup & shutdown=1 key cycle). You can cycle the key enough times for the light to go out, without running the car long enough for the computer to perform its tests. In this case the problem may still exist, even though the light has gone out.

An EVAP code is most common and usually for the reason scoutfish stated...the gas cap. When the computer performs an EVAP test, it opens a valve and applies vacuum to the system, from the "charcoal can" all the way to the fuel tank. If the vacuum is not held for a sufficient period of time, a code for either a small or large EVAP leak will set and light the MIL. Most often, a large leak code is related to a broken line or stuck valve and a small leak code, usually comes from a loose or worn gas cap. I've seen a few where both codes came from the fuel tank or filler tube. A small pinhole in the tank or tube or just a loose hose clamp'll do it.
 
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I wish you all the luck on the lottery, I just hope she hasn't used up all of her luck diagnosing the car trouble:)
 
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My wife's old Ford Windstar with the 3.8l engine would throw out a check engine light every now and then if it misfired due to some bad gas. Not a whole tank of bad gas, but even if the slightest spoonful of water happened to be in the tank and randomly got sucked up and injected into any one or two cylinders and had a single misfire....the check engine light would come on.

If the light came on but i couldn't find any issues or it ran fine, I'd check the gas gauge. If we had 1/8 tank or les, I'd go fill it up, disconnect the battery for 15 minutes and then hook it back up.

If there was a real issue, the light would come back on, if not, it would stay out.
The only real reason I would clear the light is that her light would stay on for 4 days before clearing on it's own, but would make her really tense and nervous
while it was on to the point it was worth my sanity to clear it.

After about 6 months of doing this, I finally convinced her to switch gas stations and the issue never came up again.
 
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Ford has the Microsoft Sync feature in most of their cars and trucks. It uses your phone and runs a diagnostics check on your vehicle, then reports it somewhere. Supposedly you get the report back with the issues found, if any. It's on my pickup, but I've never had need to use it. Has anyone here tried this out? This thread has made me curious about it.
 
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Just had to replace the tail light on my wife's Ford Fusion. Took me 15 minutes to get past all the carpet and plastic crap just to get to the light socket. A minute (less) to change the light and another 15 minutes to put all the plastic and carpet crap back.
 
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My Jeep does that about once a year. For this "check engine" notification, it requires a good cleaning with air inlet cleaner inside of the air inlet barrel - surprising how much soot accumulates in there, and allows just a little of air or vacuum to escape - and activating the light. Oh, for the days of points, plugs and condenser.
 

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My Ranger does that. Check Engine light comes on. Code number says about a zillion things can cause it, none that will affect driving.
So I disconnect the battery, wait 30 seconds to reset the computer and reconnect the battery.
Light stays off for another 300 or so miles.
When I start the engine, if the light does come on within 10-15 miles of driving, it will stay off until maybe the next time I start the engine.
Seems to be random.
 

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