My Sonata threw a code tonight. Is a code reader the only way to access
the code? Is there a secret handshake method such as what GM and
Chrysler have had for years?
For those who don't know, on both of these brands you can read many
codes yourself. On the GM, you short two pins on the code reader
connector and the code will flash on the check engine light. Chrysler
is even smarter. There you, if memory serves, turn the ignition key
from off to on to off to on to off again in less than something like 3
seconds and the code will flash on the MIL.
Does Hyundai have a secret handshake method?
What year is it? My 1996 did not do this, but I haven't tried by newest
Chrysler (a 2003). Maybe it does that also which would be the cat's
It is things like this that has always caused me to hold Chrysler
engineering in pretty high regard. Unfortunately, their manufacturing
has always been mediocre at best.
Unfortunately, no. Such is the case with nearly every OBD-II
product. You'll need an OBD-II code reader. If you're planning on
purchase, choose one that's CAN compatible so you'll get the most
future use out of it.
I think my Chryslers are/were OBD II and they allow reading without the
scan tool. I think my 84 Chevy is called a "partial" OBD II
implementation. Maybe the foreign brands are different in this regard.
Long story short. After being on for just less than two days, the light
went out on its own accord at lunch time on Monday. Since I already had
an appointment at the dealer for this morning I visited anyway thinking
the code would have been stored. No code. I asked what might have
happened and they shrugged and said this just happens now and then.
I've never had an American car light the check engine light and then
have no code found. Not exactly confidence inspiring...
My Saturn has done that a couple of times. Whenever it misfires, the
check engine or service engine light will come on for a few days and
then go off. The first time I had my mechanic read the code and he
said a misfire on plug 3 (or something like that, it was years ago) He
cleared it and told me it would have gone away by itself. Sure enough,
a couple of years later, the car sat for several weeks and misfired
again. It ran fine and a few days later the light didn't come on.
Well, the light is back on again. Both times now it came on shortly
after fueling the car. I'm thinking there may be a connection. I will
see if it goes out again by itself and then if it comes on the next time
I refuel, I will have something more to tell the dealer tech.
Common problem with a lot of cars. That is why they tell you not to put any
more gas once the pump kicks off on auto-fill. The re-circ system does not
work properly with the tank over filled, light comes on. After a few more
miles, gas is burned and the problem is corrected and it takes some number
of cycles for it to go off again.
On my Buick, I have to drive about 3.5 miles for hte light to come on,
something like 10 cycles and it goes off again.
I don't fill past when the pump shuts off automatically and I have
filled this car for 57,000 miles with no prior problems. I can't
believe it is that. But who knows. The idle is a little slower than
normal a little rough, so something is not 100% that is for sure. If
light stays on for more than two days this time, back to the dealer it
will go for a scan.
I'd be betting on a bad sparkplug. If you have an autozone of aamco
around you they will read it for free. I invested in a scangauge II for
my elantra. A little costly but the real time monitoring and ability to
read codes is well worth the $160 I paid for it. The reason your code
went out last time before you took it to the dealer is because your car
completed 3 or 4 drive cycles without the problem present anymore. In
cases like that it won't store it any longer. It may even be bad gas
temporarily fouling a plug. Or a bad plug wire. When was the last time
you changed the wires and plugs? The stock and cheapo aftermarket ones
should be done yearly.
That is certainly possible. I have not yet changed either plugs or plug
wires. Changing such annually went out with the 1970s. Replacement of
the plugs is recommended at 98,000 miles and my experience of late is
that the platinum plugs will easily go 100K miles. Even my Chevy truck
gets 50,000 on a set of standard plugs and the plug wires were replaced
for the first time just last year after 15 years and 100,000 miles. And
I think I wasted my money as they weren't the problem which later turned
out to be a catcon that was plugging up.
I will run the Sonata for a few days this week and see if the light
stays on and try to stop at the dealer and see if they will check the
code without first having to have an appointment. It is a pain making
an appointment and then having nothing for them to look at.
That would be a terrible waste of money. In the past 30 years, I've not
gotten less than 60,000 miles from plugs and six years from wires. The
newer cars have gone 100,000 miles and my '91 Regal had the original wires
(seconds set of plugs) after 14 years and 160,000 miles. Ran as smooth as
the day it was new.
To each their own, I would never run any car 100k on the same set or
plugs/wires. If you want to takes the chance that they won't fail in
that time because the manufacturer says that's how long they will last,
that's your choice. I just threw that out there as a possible symptom
from personal experience. Back in '05 I had the car throw a code, can't
remember which one, but it was blinking the cel and had gone into limp
home mode. I had it towed to the dealer and lo and behold it was a bad
wire. It had developed a small bad spot and was arching. I had them
replace the wires and plugs with oem and just shy of one year later the
same thing happened. I've since gone to ngk wires and plugs and changed
them yearly. Now while I probably could get more than a year or 20k out
of them, it's cheap insurance that I won't have that happen again
anytime soon. Now when I originally bought the car I thought that it was
strange that it could go so long not having certain things replaced that
I was used to doing yearly with my all the other cars I've owned, but
this was the first car I ever owned that was newer than '67.
Much has changed since 1967! Since the demise of leaded gas and points
ignition, spark plugs last dramatically longer as do wires. I am
surprised that you had two wires fail in such a short time. Sounds like
you either just got two bad wires from the factory or they weren't
routed properly and were chafing on something.
I can't even remember the last time either a plug or plug wire failed
(and I can remember back at least 20 years). I tend to change them when
the manufacturer recommends as I know their recommendations tend to be
conservative. If they say 100,000 then you can almost guarantee they
will last 150, but I tend to stay closer to the recommendation.
However, I would never take the time for a visit to the garage unless I
had something else that needed attention. A faulty plug or plug wire is
typically pretty apparent.
Not cheap at all
It is the sensible choice of millions of car owners in the past 20 years or
so. As stated, my cars get the same fuel milage, same smooth running, same
performance as they day t hey came from the showroom. I'm hundreds of
dollars ahead of you in the same time frame. A set of wires and plugs is
about $85 today if you DIY. If you change every year, you've had a little
piece of mind, while I spent less than that to rent a villa in Italy for a
week. Or heat my house for over a year. Or buy a big screen TV, or a new
table saw. Your money, your choice.
Please, fast forward 40 years. How often do you change oil? I hope you are
not one of those 3000 mile guys that wastes a lot of money too. The car
makers say 7500 miles. In 100,000 miles, the difference is 20 oil changes.
They typically run about $30 (and up) so the difference is another $600.
That covers my air fare to Milan, round trip.
In my first car, I'd pull and clean the plugs every few thousand miles,
replace them by 10,000. But that was a '53 Mercury with flathead V-8.
Added oil every few hundred miles too. It has been years since I've added
any oil between changes.
While I'm sipping Chianti with good bread and cheese in Tuscany, I'll be
thinking of you under the hood trying to get those back plugs out.
$85? I've never spent more than $40 for both. And I don't have "back
plugs", I have an elantra, they are all on the top. It's funny how you
had to try and boost your ego by talking about renting a villa in Italy
and buying big ticket items. Who cares? That's really not the point
here, the OP asked what may be causing their misfire and I suggest
something that has happened to me with similar symptoms. And actually it
says 3000 miles between oil changes in my owners manual, although I go
about 6000 - 7000 miles between using Royal Purple. It's just my
Now I unsderstand better. If you don't like the message, attack the
At $40 for both, maybe you do have to replace them more often. Anyhow, with
the savings, you can buy 625 cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup. Or 200
gallons of diet cola on sale. We have a bottle deposit in our state so
maybe only 185 gallons until you redeem the empties.
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