Is there a way to check the code for the "check engine" light? I know
I can go Auto Zone and have them check it for free, but the closest
one is 40 miles away. I don't want to drive the car if I can do
further damage. I did a Google search but couldn't find an answer.
Isn't there a way to flip the ignition and watch for some indicator
flashes? I thought I remember reading about this before. Anyway,
any/all help would be appreciated.
Go buy yourself a code reader. I think that it's an extremely
useful gizmo for everyone to own. They typically cost $100 or
less. I tried three of them a few years ago.
Two of them imposed logic that was crazy-making. But I like the
one that's marketed under the name "Equus." The manufacturer's
regular name is different; I've forgotten it, and my reader is
out in the car, where it resides all the time. It's a Taiwanese
company with an office in Los Angeles where they may do their
design work, too. This meter does not display the meaning of the
code on its screen, but the explanations of them are provided in
the excellent book that comes with the device. And I really mean
The code reader displays the codes, but it's not what a mechanic
uses, which is called a "scan tool." The mechanic's version
essentially shows the reasons behind the codes too, but the basic
meter is extremely useful. For example, it also shows the status
of the system's "monitors," which verify that all internal tests
have been run. If enough of these monitors have not completed
their cycles, your car will not pass a California smog test. Your
code reader will tip you off in advance, or give you the green
light to go into the smog test station. The thing's a godsend.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.