Check Engine Light On? You Can Turn It Off!

Check Engine Light On? You Can Turn It Off!

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This Mechanical Diagnosis Can Set You Back $80 Or More

Your cars Check Engine light can indicate a serious problem or it could simply need resetting by disconnecting the positive connection to its battery.

Your car's Check Engine light can indicate a serious problem or the "problem" could be resolved simply by disconnecting the positive connection to its battery and reconnecting it a few minutes later.

Most drivers leave their automotive maintenance to the professionals, understanding just how difficult working on today’s cars has become. Lift the hoods of a car built in 1971 and one built today and the difference underneath is truly amazing: hoses, wires, added equipment, sensors, etc. fill up almost all of the available space under the hood.

Though many of the changes have been quite helpful, e.g. fuel injection, pollution monitoring equipment, and computer chips and sensors to control and adjust just about everything in the car, all of this added equipment has added to the price you pay for your vehicle. Moreover, maintenance and repair costs have skyrocketed as the average driver needs to call upon a mechanic’s expertise to figure out what is wrong with their car.

Checking The Check Engine Light

One problem that drivers see from time to time is the Check Engine light which will come on from time to time to inform you that your car needs to be checked. Recently, we had this happen to our Toyota and Toyota’s explanation of the problem as listed in the owner’s manual was for us to take our RAV4 to our Toyota dealer.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of answer has dollar signs written all over it. In most cases, a simple visit to the dealer to get a diagnosis would have set us back by about $80. In addition, if a sensor or other equipment needed replacing, our repair bill could have shot up to $500 in no time.

DIY Auto Diagnosis & Repair

Instead of taking our little SUV to Toyota, I remembered that this problem has an easy solution, one that I took care of in minutes: I removed the positive connection to the battery, waited a few minutes, and reconnected the same. Immediately, the car’s computer reset and the Check Engine light turned off.

A Check Engine light will go on for any number of reasons including the following: your gas cap is loose; an air filter is dirty and needs changing; or your engine could have gotten wet when your splashed through a puddle. There are countless other events that can trigger the Check Engine light to come on, but as long as it isn’t flashing, then your problem probably isn’t severe (if the Check Engine light is flashing, then pull over immediately and get some help — driving the car further could result in engine damage).

Don’t Panic — Save Money

So, why am I mentioning this problem? For one important reason: not every car problem needs a mechanic’s attention. In this day of high fuel prices, expensive food, and stagnant wages, you and I need to think of different ways to save money. A car is a necessity for so many people, but it can be an awful drain on your wallet especially when you add up car payments, taxes, insurance, registration, licensing, garaging, maintenance and repairs, and other expenses.


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Categories: Consumer Tips

Comments

  1. Gary
    Gary 21 September, 2010, 15:36

    What a great tip for check engine light fix.
    I disconnected the positive battery cable waited
    5 mins and it worked!!! I believe I have spent to much already from the check engine light to dishonest people!!

    Thanks!!

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