check engine light?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by romancemelisa, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    We bought a 98 dodge ram, a few months ago, just replaced the transmission in it, and now the check engine light is on, what does this mean? dh is un reachable for 6wks, should I just keep driving it or take it immediately to the shop?
     
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    The check engine light is there to alert you that something is wrong. You say the transmission was "just" replaced so I'm ASSuming that the light was not on before replacement and is now on probably due to the replacement. It can be as simple as a sensor wire left unplugged to incompatibility of the replacement trans with the powertrain control module. Without proper diagnosis it's all just a guess including whether or not to drive it. You could be doing damage to the replacement trans or you could just be burning a little extra gas.
    Was the trans replaced by a shop? Did they replace the trans with a used trans? If it was a shop and they are competent I would go back to them if the light is related to what they did they should take care of it, if not they should be able to give you a solution with an estimate.
     

  3. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    Although it probably is related to the tranny, don't ignore other possibilities.
    The light can be on for any number of reasons. At the dealership that I used to work in, we would have about 2-3 customers a week come in with the light on and nothing more than they didn't tighten the fuel cap.
     
  4. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

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    I think most of the auto parts chains have a code reader and use it for free. If it bothers you, take it there and let them check the code.
     
  5. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    Our '97 dodge ram had the same light. Charcoal canister was the problem.
     
  6. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    had the truck put on computer this morning, 7 cylyders misfiring. Taking it back this evening to eave it for a tune up, the light went off after it was tested and stayed off till I went to put gas in it, and now it's back on. I am so glad it only needs a tune up! yippie!
     
  7. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Go to autozone and ask the nice man to check it with the code reader.It will tell you what sensor is reporting the error.

    I would do this BEFORE going to the mechanic,you will have an idea if they are being honest with you (Not that a mechanic would cheat a woman alone...)

    Ok,maybe Im cynical,but BTDT.Wouldnt hurt having as much info as possible on your side.

    BooBoo
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    What is a tuneup on a 1998 vehicle?Spark plugs?

    BooBoo
     
  9. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    In a lot of cases the check engine light comes on due to a problem in the emissions system.

    Ken & Sue in Glassboro, NJ :1pig:
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Ahh.. the infamous tuneup! A 1998 truck could have anywhere from 10k mi to 250k+mi. Because of advanced technology in spark and fuel systems that word usually never comes up until the vehicle is one step from a tow truck. I would guess it will need plugs and wires and possibly more to get the ignition near spec. Then you have the fuel filter, air filter, crankcase breather and checking the PCV system.
     
  11. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    Believe it or not just received a letter from Dodge they are extending their warranty on the catalytic converter10 years/120,000 or until 12/30/06, would this make the light come on?
     
  12. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    in my 96 ford, the check engine light can mean any combination of many thoudands of codes...
    you cant tell without an OBD2 reader, plug it in and read the codes.
    then look up those codes to see whats wrong.

    the local garage charges 30 bucks to "diagnose"... i bought a good reader for 99 bucks and have used it several hundered times since.

    the darn light comes on for the gas cap, a dirty air filter, and most often cuz the egr valve needs hit with a hammer. [no joke]

    it can mean almost anyting... misfire, computer error, o2 sesnor going bad, or sometimes... as I learned... to "remid you" about routine maintenence.

    a great ting to have as it take the guess out of whats wrong and does alert you to things you cant see feel smell or hear.

    just get someone to pul the codes and reset the computer, then wait to see it it comes back on.... then read em again.
     
  13. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Yep,my VW Bentley manual probably has an inch thick of pages of code.Then they put what the codes mean in code,so you cant really do anything without the info from VW dealers,which SURPRISE,they aren't about to reveal to you!

    Something like this,'O-1 error, bank 8'. Real world it means replace temp sensor,12 bucks,LOL.

    Unfortunately for VW,their techs just love to post online EXACTLY what those codes mean in real world language, :nana:

    BooBoo
     
  14. bluelacedredhea

    bluelacedredhea Well-Known Member

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    In 1990, we bought a 1989 F150 Supercab. The Check Engine Light was a regular feature on the dashboard. The dealership told my husband to instruct me "to take corners slower". Guess they'd seen me drive, LOL.
    We drove that baby (hard) for 11 years until we parked her in the barnyard in December 2001.
    To this day, we still don't know why that light was on?? :shrug:

    Now I have a 2002 Ranger with the same problem. I'm thinking that it's just one of the "perks" of owning a Ford, :rolleyes:
     
  15. norris

    norris Well-Known Member

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    This is one of the most common. On all the newer vehicles with egr valves you can't let the air filter get dirty. If you do an EGR valve failure will signal the check engine light.
    If you replace the dirty air filter and drive it a few miles, then turn off engine and remove the negative battery cable for a minute. Hook it back up and often this fixes the problem because the EGR valve re-sets itself with the new air cleaner in place.

    GLTU
     
  16. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    You said 7 cylinders misfiring?? Thats quite a bit of power you're missing there. Does it seem to run ok? If so, dont worry about it till the husband gets back.

    Lots of things can set a misfire code. Ignition coil packs. Plugs and wires. The computer itself. IAC valve. Even the cats and exhaust.

    On dodges where people have done a sawp to a bigger cam it will cause this code to be set in the computer because the info for cylinder firing is set for a factory cam. Not a problem... just no way to program it out. :( I'd be kinda wondering if something got knocked loose durring the tranny work tho.

    On a 98, the transmission needs to be ran through its learn mode too if the clutches/steels are swapped out... if not done right it could possibly cause some codes.

    You can check the fault codes yourself on most dodge products. Turn the key on 3 times and it will flash the codes out to you.
     
  17. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I just realized... could that have been a "#7 cylinder misfire" instead of a "7 cylinders misfiring"?

    If ya don't recall for sure get it scanned again or I can tell you how to pull the code yourself.

    At any rate, let us know cause one is a lot easier to diagnose than the other.
     
  18. fixer1958

    fixer1958 None of the Above

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    Norris
    The EGR has been around since like 1970, and the air filter has nothing to do with it.
    Have the codes checked and it could be a tranny problem. And you will get a CEL on a Chrysler product for the transmission. If so, take it back to the tranny shop and have them resolve it. If it blows out in the warranty time it's there baby.
     
  19. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    AS others said find a code reader, and see what it says.... then disconnect the battery for 15 seconds to a minute.... this resets the computer in most vehicles, then when the check engine light comes on recheck the codes.... this should give you accurate information about which sensors sez something is wrong and you dont go chasing ghosts in the machine and replacing sensors which need not be replaced. Sometimes not all mechanics reset the computer this way, they rely on the code reader to do the reset, but as any computer tech will tell you there is resonant memroy that never completely goes away when power is available. So doit the old fashion way take away the power source.

    William
     
  20. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    Most cars have a way to read the codes without a reader. On my wifes 02 Dakota if you turn the key from off to on three times the fault code is displayed on the digital odometer.
    On my 94 S-10 Blazer you use a paper clip to jumper 2 of the leads on the plug and the code flashes out on the check engine light like morse code.