'97 Accord Check Engine Light

Hi Folks,
I have a 1997 Accord LX with an automatic transmission and 118.5k on the odo..
16 days ago, my check engine light unexpectedly came on, and has been on
ever since. I have not had the engine examined by a mechanic because the engine sounds fine, and I have not experienced any loss of power or gas mileage. Should I go to a mechanic immediately, or wait until my scheduled 120k check-up? Thanks, in advance.
David
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One_Great snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (1 Gr8 Fan) wrote in

Immediately.
If in the US, AutoZone (outside of CA) will read the code for free. Report back here.
The MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) can illuminate for any of literally 200 reasons, some of which can kill your $1,200 catalytic converter.
However, the most common MIL illumination reasons are 1) an insufficiently tightened gas cap, and 2) intermittent misfire due to intake leaks and poorly-maintained ignition systems.
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TeGGeR®

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I bought some cheap gas from a hell hole station too and it set it off, took about 2 tanks to clear it.

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are the engine operation and fuel economy being okay. The light should really be called "emissions system" light, but then nobody would ever have it checked. In many models other fault codes are also piggy-backed onto the mandatory emissions related codes, which complicates the decision.
As TeGGeR points out, some of the failures can cause the mixture to be way too rich and can melt the catalyst. But even with those failures the car can be driven around town without creating that much heat in the catalyst, and can be driven gently at freeway speeds. Once you know the fuel economy is normal the restrictions are unnecessary.
Mike
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Yeah, I revise my caution. A short wait is OK.
However, when a FREE code check is readily available, why take a chance? What if it *is* something serious?
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