Check Engine Light Missing

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by WanderingOak, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I had the transmission on my 2000 Hyundai rebuilt by a large national chain a few months ago. The local Hyundai dealer reccomended them since they do not have their own transmission shop. At 154K miles, the car is definitely out of the manufacturers warranty. Recently, the car has started to act up a bit, and I noticed that the 'Check Engine' light wasn't coming on anymore when I start the car. When I opened up the dash to replace the bulb, what should I find but an empty socket where the bulb was supposed to be. When I put a bulb in the empty socket, I was not at all suprised to find that the light was continuously lit.

    Does anybody know if the dealer can determine how long the light has been lit (OBDII)? If it has been on since I got the car back from the transmission shop, and if the dealer's mechanics determine that the transmission shop was at fault, do I have any case against them? Unfortunately, the transmission only had a 6,000 mile warranty, which I have long since out-driven. With this particular transmission chain, I have heard that the warranty is worth less than the paper is printed on, and that they have more lawyers than mechanics on their payroll. Something tells me that I may have to eat this bill, however high it might be.

    I consider myself to be mechanically compitent, although newer vehicles (OBDII) are beyond me, due to the hundreds of sensors and whatnot under the hood. Even with the factory service manual, I am at a loss when troubleshooting the check engine light, because I would need propriatary tools that cost nearly as much as the car itself does. If anybody has any advice for me in this, I would appreciate it.
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    just reset the light iff it goes out you dont have a problem you manual should tell how to reset
     

  3. twohawlks

    twohawlks Member

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    My guess would be that when they repaired the transmission the light came on and the mechanic either could not get the light to turn off or did not know how to reset it so the bulb was removed.

    If you have over 6000 miles on the repair with out any problems I would not be too concerned about it but would have the computer scanned for codes.

    Any codes that are stored that relate to the transmission may be enought of a reason to go back to the transmission shop and question them about it.
     
  4. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Newer cars shouldn't need to have the light reset. If it is an intermitant problem, the light will only be on while the problem is present. I need to go to the dealer anyway to get an exhaust leak diagnosed. This car is driven 120 miles daily, so I don't want to just ignore this problem and hope it goes away, 'cause eventually, this problem could up and kill her.
     
  5. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i have a 99 chevy every time i have it in the shop they reset it at the dealer
     
  6. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    On older vehicles that dont have obd you can just simply disconnect the battery cables and wait a couple minutes and then reconnect. If you have the light come back on after driving it you still have a problem. This good for the ignition reading type chryslers and the pre obd other makes. Now with a obd11 system you have to use the actual code reader to delete on many vehicles.
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I have done a lot of reading recently on OBD's and I can tell you that after the tranny was rebuilt that the tranny was probably slipping to a small degree and the light was coming on and the tranny shop took the lamp out. You can have the code read and if the tranny is slipping the computer will have stored the info.
     
  8. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Well, the dealer pulled the codes and determined what the problems were. The kickdown solenoid was acting up, and the transmission was slipping in 2nd gear. I brought this to the attention of the transmission shop, but I didn't have the paperwork for my rebuild with me, so I will be returning with that after work today. I spoke with my regular mechanic about what hapened, and he said that this particular franchise was run by an honest mechanic, so perhaps I can get this fixed without to much of a hassle. Wish me luck....
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Wishing you a lot of luck! An honest mechanic would Not have done what was done. What was done was to get you out of the shop and away hoping that you would trade the vehicle or that you would get some service from a poorly performed task before pending failure. Ponder on that a bit :)
     
  10. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Jack (my regular mechanic) knows the manager of this particular store. He says that the manager was honest, not the individual mechanics. Of course, they could have had some 18 year old kid five seconds out of trade school doing the rebuild on my car. Places like where I had the work done usually have a very high turnover rate 'cause the pay isn't high and the hours are lousy. I wouldn't be suprised if the guy who actually did the work on my car isn't even there anymore. Of course, if I had any sense, I would have taken my car to Jack to begin with, but he prefers to work on domestic models.
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Which in my book is why a good honest mechanic is every bit as important to a family as a good honest Dr.And why I pay my current mechanic good money,I get good work in return.I do simple stuff,the very technical stuff I cant easily decipher with my books and online sources I take to the expert.Probably cheaper in the long run.

    BooBoo
     
  12. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I am not mentioning the name of the transimission chain that did the work on my car, becuase I have heard that they have a tendancy to bring people to court for libel. After monkeying around for two weeks, these fine gentlemen have thrown up their hands in defeat and declared that the problem must be in the wiring harness. They claim that they have replaced every sensor and relay on the transmission, although the dealer claims that they were never contacted for replacement parts. The transmission shop insists that I have an electrician trace out every single line leading to the transmission before they break the seal and open the transmission up again. I am having Jack (my regualr mechanic) pick the car up this morning to see what he can find. Again, I should have taken the car to him in the first place.
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Have you considered that the sensors are all working and that the sensors are detecting a fault in the tranny? The slipping in the transmission will turn the check engine light on as that is fault that pollutes unnecessarily! Other than that try to substitute a computer from a salvage yard.
     
  14. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I tried to convince the transmission mechanics that the problem was internal, but they wouldn't listen. They already rebuilt it once, and don't want to open it up again. My guess is that if the computer was squirley, it would probably be throwing other codes as well.
     
  15. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    If you ever need transmission work again look for a shop that belongs to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilder's Association (ATRA). I've used ATRA members in several states for 4 or 5 different cars since the 80's with nary a problem . I doubt a franchise shop will belong. Customer complaints about members get investigated by ATRA. They have a website to search for members in specific areas.

    About the only reason I'd walk into a franchise transmission shop would be to use the restroom
     
  16. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    An update on the Hyundai. According to my mechanic (and I saw him read the codes) there are NO transmission fault codes in the car. There is an engine fault code for high fuel tank pressure. This is what has me seeing red though- two years ago, when the car was still under warranty, I had the same reocurring fault code. The dealer, under warranty, replaced the fuel tank pressure sensor, the ECM ($$$$!!!!), and the wiring harness for the sensor (all following official Hyundai troubleshooting procedures). Near the end of the troubleshooting, the mechanics were geting very frustrated. More than likely it was the dealer mechanics that (unofficially) absconded with the check engine light. Then, when I came back a few weeks ago with the newly replaced check engine light burning brightly, they immedaitely looked for somebody else to blame. In other words, they probably made up the transmission faults to get me as far away from their shop as I can go. Once I get this resolved, I will not spend another dime in their shop.

    According to my mechanic, the simplest fix for this problem was one that the dealer did not do- replace the gas cap. The gas cap is supposed to keep the pressure in the tank constant by occasionally 'burping' the tank through a check valve. If the valve isn't functioning properly, the tank pressure gets too high and throws the code. Looking at the repair logs from the dealership, they do not show the gas cap as being replaced :rolleyes: . A gas cap costs me $13.00 from the dealer- it probably costs the dealer half that. The ECM on the other hand, probably cost the dealer at least $500.00.
     
  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    So, with a new gas cap has the problem been solved? You also need to understand that all scanners are not the same. Cheap scanners only check a minimal of items where an expensive one may check a couple dozen or more checkpoints and inputs. Does your state require and OBDII test for you vehicle? I would trust the equipment used by a state approved inspection center for an unbiased report.
     
  18. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Right now, the car is not being driven because my 4WD pickup is the only vehicle I have that can get up my driveway in the snow. Once the driving conditons improve, I will replace the gas cap and reset the code to see if it stays gone. Jack uses a Snap-On scanner and he paid nearly $2,000.00 for the latest memory module. I'm not sure if you would consider that to be 'cheap' or not. The transmission shop ran down the battery somehow by doing something stupid. That caused an airbag code to set (low battery voltage), which my mechanic cleared.
     
  19. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I am thinking the tranny shop may have one of the very cheap units that does not even indicate the tranny slipping fault. The $2k unit should do it all! If the tranny shop ran the battery down or removed the battery the computer may have reset itself. You may have to drive the vehicle in order for the code to register again. Jack may see nothing now but later he may.
     
  20. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Well, I put another 600 miles on the car, and the transmission grenaded on me. It shifts even worse than it did before I had the work done, 'cause now it won't even move without grinding and bucking. The transmission shop that did the initial work now says that they will not even look at the car without charging me for another full rebuild. The work was done only five months ago, but I've driven the car 8,000 miles, so they are not legally obligated to honor their warranty. If it turns out that the franchise transmission shop never even did any work on the car (ie poured some mystery fluid in the transmission which temporarily masked the symptoms), I will probably take them to court. I've been told that I would probably have to pay my lawyers fees up front and wait 5-10 years before my case ever comes before a judge, so it may not even be worth it. I know that I will never set foot in any franchise transmission shop again.