Tonight while driving my 1998 E320 (51,000 miles) the check engine light
came on, along with "check engine electronics" in the analog readout. I
didn't notice any difference in the way the car drove or ran, but it still
worries me. Does anyone know what could cause this, will it be covered under
the starmark warranty and can I still drive the car until the dealer can get
my car in? Thanks for quick replies.
First off, check and make sure the fuel filler cap is tightly secured. It
will cause the CE light to come on if it's not tightened down, or in some
way allowing air to escape.
If that doesn't resolve it, find an auto supply parts desk with an OBDII
scanner you can borrow (typically you leave a driver's license and walk the
unit out to the car for a quick test). That will give you the pending and
stored fault codes, which you can look up online for further
It usually turns out to be a sensor of some kind O2 or MAS or gascap or fuel
level pressure sensor, possibly the charcoal cannister that temporarily
absorbs gasoline vapors from the gas tank. If you overfilled your gastank,
by the way, it can flood the charcoal cannister and cause rough running, the
CE light to come on, and possibly ruin the cannister.
Some things to start with.
All depends what went wrong. Almost all electrical failures are covered, i.e.
the air mass sensor,
purge valve, O2 sensors, etc. But vacuum leaks are not covered, i.e. evap vent
valve, hoses at the
charcoal cannister, etc. Just about anything causing P0170 or P0173 is covered.
But not all are
covered for P0450 or P0455. If you live in California, you are also covered by
It may be as simple as the gas cap not being tight (if it is loose, it might
take a few days of driving to clear). You might be able to go by somewhere
like Autozone and have them check the OBDII codes.
On this topic, it is a great investment to buy an OBDII code reader.
You can get them for under $100 so you can read the codes yourself
before going to the dealer. The same OBDII system is on all cars
after 1996 I think. This way you can find out right away, and also
make sure dealers dont charge you for things you dont need. Most of
them you just connect the plug and read the code. The codes are
published many places. The plugs all have to be within 3' of the
steering wheel and freely available.
I have this one
I found it on ebay for <$100 once.
By law, all code readers must read the P0xxx codes, i.e. P0170, P0455. They do
not read the P1xxx
and P2xxx fault codes. As an example, say you have a air pump fault, it would
be P0410 on a code
reader. Big deal, P0410 is 'fault in air injection logic chain'. So you spend a
lot of time trying
to figure out what went wrong. If you had the MB SDS tester, [$25000 and up!!],
you would get fault
code P2003 and you would save a bunch of test time knowing that the problem is a
lazy O2 sensor
[yes, the O2 sensor is how the engine knows the air injection is working, by
'seeing' the burst of
fresh air and the instant lean-ness at the sensor. If the sensor does not
instantly change its
values, you get a fault code].
<Agreed> wrote in message
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