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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.
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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
All-Star 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
Veteran 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
All-Star 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
Sophomore 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
All-Star 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
All-Star Author Pittsburgh

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

have in the past
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PAA64
All-Star 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
All-Star 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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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 12:06:41 AM

Get a code reader, is good investment, a lot of codes won't hurt your engine. For example a gas cap with a bad seal.
Sometime my car doesn't warm up fast enough and the CEI comes on.
A real nuisance.. I changed the thermostat and it still comes on once in awhile,, like make once in a year or two.
I also changed water temp sensor, and it still might come on.
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Dec 7, 2013 10:10:51 PM

ok
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Hemond
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Dec 7, 2013 2:35:55 PM

QUOTE ::::Well I don't have that car any more. In the almost 2 years after my original post.....::::


Yup, its been 2 years and this thread went dormant in May. Yet the poster reactivates it with a nonsense response. A violation of the GB Terms of Service. I'm not going to report it but no doubt someone will.



As for your TPMS going on at 1.5 differential - most newer cars have much higher tire pressure. No longer is 32lbs the norm. Now its 38lbs. If you have your pressure set for 32 lbs and it drop to 30.5 lbs , yes the TPMS light will go on. Verify what your tire pressure specs are supposed to be.


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AFOS
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 7, 2013 2:07:31 PM

Well I don't have that car any more. In the almost 2 years after my original post the car never misbehaved again and the CEL light never came on again after it was reset. This has been an interesting discussion

My new Accord instrument panel looks like a christmas tree when the engine is turned on. NO CEL, but the TPMS light came on to stay the other day. One tire differs from the others by 1.5 pounds of pressure so it's pretty sensitive.

[Edited by: AFOS at 12/7/2013 2:08:53 PM EST]
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forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Dec 7, 2013 12:42:08 PM

Get your engine checked. It's no fun being stranded. Don't be a d*** and ask somene else for help. Once you see a CEL warning, you need to go the mechanic to reset it. Your mechanic should be able to diagnose the problem quickly by plugging into the diagnostic port and read the error code or you can buy the device yourself and try to diagnose the problem.


[Edited by: forresj at 12/7/2013 12:43:52 PM EST]
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ny10
All-Star Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 7, 2013 11:43:34 AM

driving with check engine light on is not a good practice. take it to a mechanic shop asap
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skunku
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: May 25, 2013 5:54:55 PM

Be very careful about that. Since you have a code, call the manufacturer and find-out what it means then go from there. Be safe.
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fatso
Veteran Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: May 25, 2013 3:22:57 PM

NO! if you have a code and know that it is #1 , change the spark plug and wire. could lead to other things that cost more
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going up
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: May 25, 2013 7:39:36 AM

No *3
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: May 25, 2013 7:28:38 AM

NO but I did have a CEL on one vehicle act out for over two weeks just after a shop oil/filter change. The only thing I found was the shop over filled the replacement oil(1/4 " high on the dipstick).... after the CEL came on one morning I noticed as the Wife cold started that vehicle there was a noted blue haze came out the tailpipe just for a couple seconds then cleared. I had not seen that before only a slight view once in my side-view mirror and then never thought much of it at that time.

Later the Dealership reprogramed the ECM on a recall notice by letter, the CEL stayed off for 20,000 more miles, then CEL stayed back on after a repeat. MY mechanic changed out three sensors to get performance back to normal also a tune-up = good general maintenance on most of todays engines.

I actually drove over 70,000 miles before the CEL affair, then heard all kind of helpful opinions, did some web research, and talked with three good trusted mechanics, before problem was solved. Only one other problem not related still on the throne waiting to get wiped out! No help as of yet, but hopeful, still checking around..... only erred info so far ....
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jonjon57
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: May 24, 2013 4:49:37 PM

No
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jack4141
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: May 24, 2013 1:57:52 AM

No,
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: May 24, 2013 12:35:15 AM

it flashed for me... i knew it was the spark plugs that were worn out

the old platinum tipped plugs had a big gap erosion & no wonder i was smelling unburnt fuel out the tail pipe

a fresh set of double platinum plugs will ensure another 10-11 years of service!
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ace12012
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: May 23, 2013 2:00:22 PM

not a good idea.
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weddy11
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: May 21, 2013 9:50:46 AM

I try to fix it myself, otherwise have a mechanic repair the problem. Left unrepaired could cost you much more in the long run plus lower fuel economy.
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Jmac2008
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: May 21, 2013 1:18:47 AM

the light is on for a reason you should at least get it checked out, it doesn't cost anything at autozone.
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: May 20, 2013 10:03:07 PM

If it comes on and I don't know why it came on, I'll stop at an Advance, Auto Zone, or other car parts store and borrow their diagnostic tester to find out what it is. If it's something I can take care of myself, I'll either buy the parts I need and do it right then, or for more complicated/expensive jobs, figure out what I need and do the job later. If it's really minor (I have a loose spark plug wire on cylinder 5), I'll ride as is until I can let the truck sit for a bit to cool down (work or home) and then plug the wire back in.
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: May 20, 2013 9:02:30 PM

YES



[Edited by: carinthuist at 5/20/2013 9:04:07 PM EST]
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buickentury
Veteran Author Madison

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Message Posted: May 20, 2013 8:51:41 PM

i wouldn't worry until it starts stumbling consistently. I drove a vehicle roughly 50,000 miles with the CEL on. Don't know why because it ran like a champ.
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IAMCANADIAN73
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: May 20, 2013 9:42:29 AM

Yes
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smugutu1234
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: May 20, 2013 9:29:22 AM

Not a good idea.
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hyeglenn
Champion Author Fresno

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Message Posted: May 20, 2013 8:52:03 AM

Not a good thing.
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krazkar
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: May 18, 2013 5:14:17 PM

My Volvo would have the light on, then off, then on.
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DHIGAJ
All-Star Author Toronto

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Message Posted: May 18, 2013 3:31:22 PM

yes, since two year I am runing my honda civic car shows the engine light on for air leaking somewhere
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mybigtruck
All-Star Author San Jose

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Message Posted: May 18, 2013 12:59:57 PM

I think you should look into it. Most of the time a CEL indicates something unusual occurred but will turn off if it doesn't happen again over some predetermined number of drive cycles and if it's not a serious enough problem.

However, you're guaranteed to be failed at a smog inspection if the CEL light is on.
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OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: May 18, 2013 8:54:53 AM

I think I'd at least take it by a shop and get a mechanic to listen to see if they hear anything out of the ordinary.
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