Without the trouble code, no!
The check engine light means simply that... Get it checked. Any of the
auto parts places open? Many of them will check the code and decipher
it for you.
Without the code it could be anything from a) you left the gas cap loose
last time you filled up to z) you're about five minutes from a
catastrophic mechanical failure or something in between.
Likely it's something leaning towards the "A" end of the list, but...
There is. It involves using a paper clip to short the 2-pin Service Check
connector behind the passenger kick panel, turning the ignition to "II",
then reading the blinks of the MIL ("Check Engine" light).
The problem with this method is that the returned code will only be an
approximation of the actual ODB-II error stored by the ECM. This means it's
not actually of much use.
AutoZone, PartSource and many other chains will read the OBD-II code for
you for free. (AZ in CA will not do the code read for some reason.)
Once you have the code, diagnosis is possible. Right now it is not.
I road down to the corner to pick up some dinner. As I rode
by our local AutoZone, I noticed that they were open.
I stopped in. They ran the test. It's the O2 sensor. They
said I could continue to drive the car for a bit.
That's a relief. That's not cheap but not terribly expensive,
Did they reset the light? (turn it off?)
If not, go to the fuse panel under the hood and pull the 7.5Amp fuse labelled
'Backup' for about 10-20 seconds. Then put it back in.
See if the same code comes back.
Fred Atkinson wrote:
What was the /actual/ error code number?
There are some two dozen ODB errors involving the oxygen sensors, some of
them not actually having to do with the sensor at all. On your model, some
errors can arise that appear to point to one thing, but are really due to
other things that are wholly unrelated.
The code will be something like "P0135", where the zero might actually be a
one, and the other numbers may be different.
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