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Old 12th June 2009, 03:43   #1
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Default How bad can engine check indicator be?

Hi Everyone,

I have a question.
I wanted to know how bad it can be to have a car's engine CHECK indicator on, the one that's next to the odometer.
If you don't get what I am saying, I am talking about the "CHECK" light that lights up when you turn on your car and then once its on, the light goes away. Next to the Battery indicator...!

And how bad it can be if that light stays on all the time...I mean it does not go out, even when driving.

Please help.

I am wondering what can be the possible reasons, and if I really need to get it fixed urgently or pull on this way for another few days.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12th June 2009, 06:19   #2
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Arrow generic indicator

The Check Engine / Service Engine Soon light (CEL) is an indicator that's lit whenever the car computer (ECU) detects some electronic sensor isn't performing it's intended function.

Unfortunately, the nature of the problem can't be foretold by just looking at the light.
It can be a failed oxygen sensor, a leak in the exhaust system, or as trivial as a loose fuel tank cap.

The error codes need to be read by plugging in an OBD (On Board Diagnostics) reader, which is what the new-age mechanic at your local stealership does.

Usually, there's a sequence of reset cycles that the car goes through everytime you start it up and drive it around for a while.

The light is Yellow.
If your CEL comes ON but goes OFF after a few days automatically, then you should be OK, but if it hasn't gone OFF after a few days you need to make an appointment with your workshop.

Depending on your car's make & model - if the light's turned Red, then you probably shouldn't risk driving around and take the car to the workshop immediately.


My 2001 BMW, had it's CEL stuck on ON for a while - no matter what the mechanics tried. The car wasn't polluting, the engine was in perfect condition, and the BMW mechanics were pulling their hair out by the roots but nobody could figure it out - eventually they suggested changing the ECU.

Last edited by aah78 : 12th June 2009 at 06:21.
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Old 12th June 2009, 06:54   #3
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if you have a petrol indica, the light would probably come on if you sneezed too hard
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Old 12th June 2009, 07:37   #4
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@aah78 - I think I will let it be like this for a while and then maybe take it to the service center. Thanks !

Quote:
if you have a petrol indica, the light would probably come on if you sneezed too hard
@greenhorn - I have a Mazda 626 in otherwise immaculate condition.
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Old 12th June 2009, 08:20   #5
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" I have a Mazda 626 in otherwise immaculate condition. " .... WOW !! I'm impressed .. any pics ?
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Old 12th June 2009, 11:11   #6
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Driving around with the CEL on isn't a very smart thing to do. It could be something harmless, or it could be more than that. Getting the error code through the OBD scanner doesn't take more than a few minutes and a little amount of money.
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Old 12th June 2009, 12:30   #7
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Best case, the light is faulty, worst case your engine is Kaput. So it depends. It can be anything from a simple 2 minute repair job to expensive fuel pump/rail etc., replacement.
That said if there is absolutely no problem in performance etc., and this light is coming on, its mostly some sensor acting up.
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Old 12th June 2009, 14:32   #8
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Usually the ECU is programmed to make the vehicle "limp" before it can cause a serious damage to the engine, for eg overheating, its called the "Limp home mode" but on the other hand the sensors can detect and pre-warn before something fails and if not corrected can leave you stranded.

Get it checked at the first instance, its a 5 min job to identify whats causing it to glow
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:49   #9
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@GirlieOnWheels

You need to get this checked ASAP. It can be a faulty sensor or maybe more.

OT how old is she i mean your 626 ?
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:56   #10
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Quote:
by plugging in an OBD (On Board Diagnostics) reader, which is what the new-age mechanic at your local stealership does.
ROFL....that is one APT term, man!!!
@GirlieOnWheels, as suggested, don't risk driving around with the CEL on. Better to get it checked as soon as possible. Big fault or small, why take the chance with that lovely car?
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Old 12th June 2009, 18:52   #11
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depends on your day -
- If lucky then nothing
- if not lucky then everything

dont take risk , have it sorted out at earliest.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:01   #12
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Got it fixed, thanks for your suggestions.
It was my lucky day - nothing major.
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Old 10th November 2009, 14:41   #13
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Unhappy "Check Engine" Indicator light on

Guys,

The "Check Engine" Indicator light came on as I tried to start my Indica DLG car this morning. It was working fine till the last time I used it and now it wont start. Please advise me what could be the problem and how to resolve it.

Regards

SK
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Old 10th November 2009, 15:27   #14
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One of the fuses or relays might be blown, since it was running normally earlier. get a good technician and check. Ofcource do update here also.
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Old 10th November 2009, 15:31   #15
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Dude can you please let us know what had happened and how did they manage to fix it. Many ofour vehicles have the problem.
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