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Author Topic: Driving WIth Check Engine LIght On? Back to Topics
AFOS

Champion Author
Chicago

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Message Posted: May 12, 2011 1:04:44 PM

Are you presently driving with the CEL on? I am. Car stumbled for about 30-60 seconds at startup yesterday but has driven fine since. This triggered the CEL with a code for cylinder 1 misfire. Until the problem becomes recurrent, I will drive with the CEL light on rather than spending a ton of money chasing would could be a very elusive problem.
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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dassfg
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2014 8:18:30 AM

Need to have it checked out
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Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2014 8:02:42 AM

you should have it checked
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2014 6:35:42 AM

No . . . .
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Awing1
All-Star Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 10:59:57 PM

no
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poetdog73
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 5:47:59 PM

no
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luvmyburgi
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 2:32:07 PM

No
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weddy11
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 9:42:18 AM

I try to fix it myself. I don't drive with the CEL very long.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2014 9:07:49 AM

Vehicles that get 16-20 years old, but still in use often get many vacuum lines that leak, both hoses/plastic type crack with heat stress over time. Monitor devices/servos lose vacuum/fail with engine running poorly, idle unstable...rough/erratic/loss in mileage. Sometimes affecting the automatic tranny shifting.

Some vehicles can have PCV system aging with partly clogged problems often due to poor design/forgotten maintenance. Also it often takes a broader source of DIY knowledge in order to get correct repairs/service done at a savings.

CEL ON are only a slight clue to raise the hood, get proper help, in order to examine everything, one look and the hood goes back down, Right! Most cases a Doctor needed..... Dammmmmm CEL..... = budget $$$ = book reading!
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WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2014 11:43:30 PM

Check engine light is always on…..
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2014 7:15:31 PM

no
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Jetta_Pilot
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2014 10:50:28 AM

There are two types of CEL, one is a solid light CEL and the second is a flashing CEL. A solid means something needs your attention but is not too serious. I changed tail light bulbs to LED and got a solid CEL because the computer was not getting the correct resistance reading to the bulbs and figured a bulb was out.

A flashing CEL, better get it looked after ASAP !!!!

See this link for more info:
http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/what-your-check-engine-light-is-telling-you.html
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redfish67
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2014 11:21:49 AM

no
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jdmd6613
Champion Author Memphis

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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2014 9:38:10 AM

NO
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badbobKY
Veteran Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 10, 2014 2:29:56 PM

no
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46chief
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 9, 2014 10:43:33 AM

Only long enough to get it to the repair shop.
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 9, 2014 8:08:14 AM

Then take it to most any auto parts store and they will check it free for you.
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Awing1
All-Star Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2014 12:00:50 PM

No, I can bear it for a few days, but I will find a way to fix it. My hyundai santa fe frequently shows light on and it was from fuel cap.
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AFOS
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2014 10:31:02 AM

Code diagnosis WAS done (see original post). The light went out on its own. 3+ years later (my daughter now has the car), the problem has never recurred

[Edited by: AFOS at 8/7/2014 10:32:02 AM EST]
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2014 2:10:44 AM

I could not stand looking at a CEL. I would read the code and jump on the 'net to diagnose it.
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krazkar
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2014 12:37:12 AM

My check engine light is almost always on. So is the airbag light….16 year old car, no big deal.
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poetdog73
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 3:43:20 PM

no
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 3:30:32 PM

no
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redfish67
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 10:13:53 AM

no
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 9:52:38 AM

I posted somewhere about a relative's vehicle acting up and using a quart of oil every 400-600 miles but not seen at the tailpipe or under carriage as oil leaks.

The CEL stayed lit, owners continued to drive it mostly hiway for the 70% of mileage accounted for. Later over a month or more other drastic problems was happening and compounded with later realized damage/costs.

The first problem was #1 cylinder spark-plug becoming caked up with carbon deposits an then some misfire during early warm-up @ 55-60* F mornings, along with lean-outs, A..tranny erratic behavior, high oil use on the average.

This was I believe an "81 0r 83" year model 4 cylinder(a really good engine), the main problem believe it or naught ended up being a stupid designed PCV valve mounting design, not the valve but the rubber grommet which reached it's life span at 44K miles from being new,(actual mileage.

The whole problem was an oil soaked decaying grommet mount for that PCV valve never getting replaced, and all the other problems came along as a result by ignoring the CEL indicator.

Well for a DIY'er I was stumped, never gave up, serious thought and a few trial tests over a three week check/report info from the Drivers of the vehicle, my limited knowledge led me to sort out each malfunction the hard way.

The first sign was visible all the time, but looked minor,(bad greasy decaying PCV grommet) only to the extent of an oily mess still thought to be minor>>. a 1st. stage error other than the CEL lit. All engines seem to have an oily spot somewhere, don't-u-know after a few miles with a bit of grime.

The problem was the bad grommet lost its ability to hold the crazy mounting effort of the PCV valve as designed in its effective place for proper performance, thus causing other problems to group up, and the fact that the owner/drivers ignored the light and service check, moral to this is "Messy isn't good" and can be misleading to some/most drivers, and coin flippers. My headache solved, relatives made up the costly final result repairs which showed up later as drive line FWD damage, Big Geesh !........
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drivebye
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2014 1:36:23 AM

Although it may be a non-issue, I agree with others who suggest getting it checked.
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MeTaBall
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2014 10:11:28 PM

Light will go out after a while.
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Ratso
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2014 6:17:48 AM

Cheezus, go to Auto Zone and they will check your computer to see if what your doing is going to blow a block !
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redfish67
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2014 10:24:17 AM

It can be diagnosed for free, then you can decide if it should be taken care of. Beats having your car break down!
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2014 9:18:45 AM

Not always but the starting of the Fall season when the morning start-up temps are lower and then a CEL shows on, that can be something as simple as an aged battery, poor cable connections, sluggish thermostat, possible loose belt (engine drive belt tension).

Colder weather causes everything to stiffen, battery voltage/amps to drop off, everything requires more effort, energy effort to comply. What works reasonable during warm conditions can often become boarder-line then waiting to act up and fail.

Modern vehicles ECM controlled are more sensitive to needing a good stable battery condition, many owners try to get the ultimate life time span from each battery but that can be a mistake (older vehicles) often limped to life with a marginal aged battery ,but EFI systems ECM related have a critical slow crank speed (start-up) RPMs necessary can suffer do to a poor battery losing voltage overnight(cold night).

CEL may show a temporary loss in ECM track settings before a flooded engine condition exists that prevents starting, battery warmers may extend the usable life if not forgotten to be plugged in beforehand.
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espo85
All-Star Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2014 9:05:43 AM

That's a pretty dumb idea.
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2014 11:30:19 PM

no
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2014 5:22:05 AM

My gf had hers checked yesterday. The light has been on, for about a week.
They did a diagnostic on it. The throttle body was bad. This, could have left her stranded, at any time. If the light is coming on, there's a reason.
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poetdog73
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2014 12:38:38 AM

no prob. yet!
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Philo_Gray
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 3, 2014 9:38:31 PM

It's been on for the last 100,000 miles. I know what it is and fixed the problem for $50 but refuse to take it to the dealer to spend $2,500 to do it the dealer way and get it to go off.
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szd55
Veteran Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Feb 3, 2014 8:07:04 PM

No but my sister does; drives me crazy!
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bwelch88
Rookie Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2014 1:03:41 PM

The CEL in my truck has been on for 4+ years. Its an EGR valve solenoid complaining, I could care less if it works properly. Doesn't affect the performance or maintenance of the vehicle at all.
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jjb67
Veteran Author Orlando

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 11:56:05 PM

I cannot recall if I drove with the Check Engine Light on recently, but I do remember doing that until I had the time and money to spend on getting it fix.
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magpie2013
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 5:34:23 PM

Try to get two diagnostic tests why and get it fixed, they use to call these idiot lites because people use to ignore and drive anyways. You can also go to Auto zone they use a tester to tell you if its a burn't out chip.its not smart so much of our vehicle is electrical and this can lead to more than one problem. I hope for your sake its something simple.
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happylilly
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 1:09:16 AM

yes have had it checked can't fix
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pghbill
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2014 1:14:05 AM

have in the past
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PAA64
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2014 12:38:06 AM

no and you'll want to have that checked.
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jegs
Veteran Author Nebraska

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Message Posted: Dec 20, 2013 3:30:57 AM

A cylinder misfire code is usually a sign that your spark plugs are needing replaced.
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2013 6:47:58 AM

If you drive with the Check Engine Light on, you could be damaging your vehicle..........
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probedjg2013
All-Star Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2013 8:02:11 AM

no
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cv
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2013 7:11:23 AM

Only to get to the repair shop.
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nourdives
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2013 12:55:38 PM

no
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DJRIO
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 12:41:22 PM

no
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pghbill
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 10:29:23 AM

used to have 2 nissan sentras the light was always on,made emissions inspection a bear
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 10:22:53 AM

@ borsht; I once fixed a crazy problem with a medium size Olds V/6 vehicle, can't recall the model now(relative sedan). He had it into a shop 4 times with each a part replacement or maintenance cleaning. The main problem was the A/C worked fine in the city but out on the highway it lost the cold and on acceleration the vents released hot air at short intervals.

Then the CEL would come on and reset for months or less. The engine also idled different RPMs at times. Finally he remembered the cruise failed to work proper(Wife sometimes used it) he didn't.

Garage said after, cooling system cleaning, later thermo c..fan replaced, engine tune expense, next step was a dash removal, ETC. A/C internal repair, whatever.

Well He came to me wanting a small favor, daily temps were in the mid to higher 90's. I asked wait until we get a cool morning (soon) I would try to check it. Advised He try another repair shop, but wouldn't hurt to look.

The whole problem was a broken vacuum nozzle on the plastic vacuum canister, also the vacuum line fittings were switched around and the cruise control servo was cracked where the hoses attach.

I believe the engine was going lean at times due to vacuum loss at one or more cylinders causing the CEL to light by reason, just on various times by atmospheric pressure changes and his driving habits.

His engine didn't suffer any more serious damage due to non frequent miles of use (garaged much of the time).He started/run/stopped the vehicle a lot to keep the battery up(charged).
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 8:08:34 PM

If you drive with the Check Engine Light on, you could be damaging your vehicle..........

Remember the computer corrects engine problems that is why it is running fine but the problem is still there.....that is where the damage lies......

Always remember with the vehicles of today, in most cases the computer will correct many engine problems with your vehicle so the operation will always run fine....problem is still there.....hasn't gone away........

[Edited by: contiki at 12/8/2013 8:09:40 PM EST]
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