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Old 07-16-2009, 09:15 AM
 
323 posts, read 777,371 times
Reputation: 161

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So my check engine light came on about 2 months ago. I freaked out, took it to Auto Zone, and they had me take of my gas cap and put it back on. The light went away, and I thought...problem solved. Not so much. Fast forward two weeks...same thing. Fast forward another two weeks...same thing, except this time I buy a new gas cap...and the light has not turned off (they told me it would take a couple days for the system to reset itself and it has been about 3 weeks). The car is running fine, but should I worry that there is a serious problem? Any help is much appreciated (and by the way, it's a 2002 neon).
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:23 AM
 
Location: On the East Coast
51,696 posts, read 14,891,390 times
Reputation: 80913
I have a 1998 Neon and took it to my mechanic who ran a "Bay test" to check evaporation system after my check engine light came on back in mid May and a few weeks later the CEL came back on. I am so darn frustrated because I have put alot of money in the darn car over the past several months and am thinking about selling it but who is gonna buy it with the CEL on? It also needs front brakes now too.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
674 posts, read 2,441,142 times
Reputation: 272
You two need to take your cars elsewhere for some diagnostic tests.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 6,680,875 times
Reputation: 4886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Lady123 View Post
I have a 1998 Neon and took it to my mechanic who ran a "Bay test" to check evaporation system after my check engine light came on back in mid May and a few weeks later the CEL came back on. I am so darn frustrated because I have put alot of money in the darn car over the past several months and am thinking about selling it but who is gonna buy it with the CEL on? It also needs front brakes now too.
I wouldn't worry this much. I can't really say regarding the CEL but a lot of times it's nothing major and many people even have their CEL lights disconnected because they won't go away.

Front brakes though, you should take care of and it's not something you should complain about doing - it's just typical maintenance. If it's just pads, you can change those yourself for 30 bucks and it's really, really easy.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: H-town, TX.
3,503 posts, read 6,950,822 times
Reputation: 2232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddy4LyF View Post
I wouldn't worry this much. I can't really say regarding the CEL but a lot of times it's nothing major and many people even have their CEL lights disconnected because they won't go away.

Front brakes though, you should take care of and it's not something you should complain about doing - it's just typical maintenance. If it's just pads, you can change those yourself for 30 bucks and it's really, really easy.
Yeah, sure. People ignore CELs that are popping (or would be if scanned) out tranmission failure codes and wonder why they had no warning, too.

You don't see anyone who actually knows what they are talking about backing you there...

Anyway, trusting a guy at Autozone to diagnose your CEL codes who has handing your burgers out the drive-thru window last week is laughable at best...almost as laughble as being told to ignore that light.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
16,187 posts, read 52,934,287 times
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There are 2 things going on here - the Neon is notorious for setting the CEL if you don't tighten the gas cap tight enough - not certain if the gas cap or the diagnostic routine is the culprit - but there it is.

The second thing is the damn CEL can also be set by a problem that will be a lot cheaper to fix more or less immediately (like an O2 sensor going south, that will eventually take out the cat if left for months) and the CEL illuminates just the same for both serious and trivial problems.

I'll second Alfred here, if you have a place to work like a carport even, maybe a floor jack (which is something everyone who has cars should own!) and a few hand tools, you can change the front brake pads, I have changed the pads without doing anything at all to the rotor, so long as it's not obviously scored or damaged, the rotor is good for a couple of sets of OEM type pads anyway, according to Hoyle you should at least check thickness with a caliper, but common sense says you can estimate from the ridge below where the pads wear.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: On the East Coast
51,696 posts, read 14,891,390 times
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Well guys, I would do the brakes if I could but I am not very mechanically inclined. I know, ask a neighbor but everyone keeps to themselves around here so that's out.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:36 PM
 
Location: somewhere near Pittsburgh, PA
1,444 posts, read 3,583,578 times
Reputation: 1645
Find out what the actual trouble code is that is triggering the light. If it's indicating something serious like a transmission problem, then get it repaired ASAP. But if it's one of those generic codes like engine running lean or rich...good luck. You could spend hundreds of dollars replacing parts and never fix the problem.

My Mustang's check engine light has been coming on for the last 6 or 7 years and NO ONE can fix the problem. The code is "engine running rich in bank 2" or something like that. Several mechanics and lots of money later, it still comes on. I just gave up and ignore it now. The car checks out fine from top to bottom, and the mechanics just throw their hands up and admit they have no idea what else to do. I've had no other problems with this car in the 11 years I've owned it except for that stupid light.

Hope you have better luck than I did!
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:45 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 17,985,722 times
Reputation: 2903
Quote:
Originally Posted by amsherwo View Post
So my check engine light came on about 2 months ago. I freaked out, took it to Auto Zone, and they had me take of my gas cap and put it back on. The light went away, and I thought...problem solved. Not so much. Fast forward two weeks...same thing. Fast forward another two weeks...same thing, except this time I buy a new gas cap...and the light has not turned off (they told me it would take a couple days for the system to reset itself and it has been about 3 weeks). The car is running fine, but should I worry that there is a serious problem? Any help is much appreciated (and by the way, it's a 2002 neon).
Just what did happen to my car 2002 honda, went there, I had undone cap,
etc., so did the young service advisor. After around 10 days, still the light.
it was the gas cap, and they reset it for me, that was over 6 months ago.
With the check engine, you mostly have not a clue to why, or what. It
should just be the gas cap, and yes, it takes a while to reset. I also did panic
because, now what? See, my light stayed when I took the cap off etc.,
now when I get gas, I am sure I do hear Click! The dealer will most likely make you pay around 100.00?
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:35 PM
 
16,294 posts, read 27,293,992 times
Reputation: 8357
Quote:
Originally Posted by amsherwo View Post
So my check engine light came on about 2 months ago. I freaked out, took it to Auto Zone, and they had me take of my gas cap and put it back on. The light went away, and I thought...problem solved. Not so much. Fast forward two weeks...same thing. Fast forward another two weeks...same thing, except this time I buy a new gas cap...and the light has not turned off (they told me it would take a couple days for the system to reset itself and it has been about 3 weeks). The car is running fine, but should I worry that there is a serious problem? Any help is much appreciated (and by the way, it's a 2002 neon).
It is probably using more gas than it should. If you can afford lower mileage, or don't care about the pollution, and your state doesn't have emission testing then oh well.
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