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Huskie

Air/Jer-Help Check engine soon light

7 posts in this topic

Just picked up a 2003 Buick Regal, 70,000 miles on it, from a relative. On the way home the check engine soon light came on, stayed on. The gas cap seemed loose, fixed that but the light is still on. Had this trouble before with my truck and do not want to spend 80 bucks at the shop. I have been told that if you disconnect the battery it will shut off or go to a parts store and they will read it as a free servce. Will disconnecting the batttery work on that Model? How many starts will shut it off if it was just the gas cap? Thanks,

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Disconnecting the power will shut the light off for a bit, but it will come back on because it won't fix the problem. The computer is throwing a code and needs to be read with a diagnostic tool. A good honest shop should plug it in for minimal cost since it only takes a minute or two to get the code. You could have a bad O2 sensor, MAF sensor, anything really. I would get it done soon. You know a good shop, correct?

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It will take a number of key cycles for the check engine light to turn of if it was the loose gas cap. Every manufacturer is different and I couldn't tell you specifically what the number would be for your vehicle.

Your best option would be to find a place that will scan for free. Finding out if you suspicion is correct before clearing it would make the best sense. If its not an EVAP code (typically a code P0440 EVAP large leak detected) than it should be checked out. If it is a code P0440 (a pretty common code for a loose gas cap) than they should be able to clear it with the "code reader" that they have.

Disconnecting the battery may or may not turn it off. If its a hard code and something other than the loose cap it will come right back on as soon as you start it again.

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Quote:

A good honest shop should plug it in for minimal cost since it only takes a minute or two to get the code.


I agree in that I don't always charge full diagnostic time for a loose gas cap, however Diagnostic time (this is true for a majority of shops) which includes reading the codes and the first hour of time necessary to find the source of the problem should be charged for "reading the codes". I would think that most other shops would agree with this. If you want to do it yourself than there are plenty of places that will scan for free and give you a shot gun diagnosis of you can try this. If you want to really know whats going on than by all means you should have to pay for it. Whether it takes me ten minutes or three hours.

The last point is don't wait until something is wrong to find a place to fix it. Your frustrations add up as you end up in an unfamiliar place, not quite sure how they operate, hit with a fairly substantial charge to see whats going on, and given an estimate for at least $200 - $300 that you where not expecting. I see this all the and more often than not the ones that are the most upset are the ones that say new customer on the work order.

My best advise is to find a shop ahead of time. Let them do some small repairs (tire repair, Coolant flush, headlight, or an oil change). If you like your experience than give them another try (maybe rotate the tires or do a break inspection). Don't be afraid to ask the guy at the counter some questions how much do you charge for this, what do you do for that, what do you think would be good for my car.

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The light went off this afternoon, without getting the code read. Since I tightned the gas cap and I thought it was loose at that time, can I assume that was the problem or should I still have the code read?

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If the light is off than that was likely your problem. Once the computer sees the correct info it decides that the problem has been resolved and it will turn off the light. More than likely it has stored the code in its memory. It is possible for that code to remain there until any future diagnostic work is done for a check engine light and the computer is cleared with a scan tool after a satisfactory attempt at a repair is made.

Would I worry about it? Nope! If its off its fine (unless of course the bulb burnt out? grin.gif

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I dont know where you live, but here in the cities Auto Zone parts stores will scan your car for free to see why your check light is on. They did mine 3 times in the last 2 months. I have a string of bad luck with my vehicle, and being able to save a few diagnostic dollars helped this poor man.

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