Car question for you mechanics. Help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neil Joseph, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    [flame suit]

    My car went months without an oil and filter. I would just top up the oil when it was low (I have been busy). All of a sudden one day, the engine check light came on intermittantly. Then it got solid so that when you turn off the engine and restart, the light would come on and stay on. I checked all the electrical, fuses etc all were ok. I noticed the the engine was a bit rough so I got the oil and filter and did it myself. Now it would run nice and smooth but the check light was still on. I disconnected and reconnected the battery and all was fine.

    Now 2 weeks later, the engine was running rough when started first thing in the morning. The check light came on. After a while the engine would run smooth and the check light went off and all seemed ok. I decided to do a second oil and filter aagin just in case there was some sludge left in from that last batch of old oil. I did that and all was ok.

    Now 2 days later, the same thing. It started off rough and the light came on but it would run smooth once the car warmed up. All seems ok and the car runs smooth as a dream usually.

    Could there be some blockage in the oil system due to sludge thatr would cause an intermittant engine check light and cause some roughness in the engine that disappears after the engine warms up?

    [/flame suit]
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    The check engine light is tied to the engine control computer, and its going on is related to emissions problems or a faulty sensor. A faulty sensor could also cause your rough running, or it could be a bad plug or ignition wires.

    It probably has nothing to do with the oil or your not having changed it in a long time, unless there is a oil temperature sensor which no longer functions properly due to the oil neglect.

    Have a mechanic pull the codes from the computer and they should be able to determine what's wrong.

    KJP
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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  4. Tim H

    Tim H Stunt Coordinator

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    In my area, Auto Zone was offering to hook up their machine to your car to get the CEL code for FREE. I don't know if they're still offering this service, but if there's a store in your area, it might be worth checking out.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    One year, I went over 9 months between oil/filter change, and felt really stupid for letting it go for that long. I simply forgot to change it after 5,000 miles (as is my self-imposed normal oil change interval).
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    It is a 1998 Tercel from Toyota.
    Atually, it is a Porsche 911. I just got the Tercel body to put over it so nobody would steal it. [​IMG]
     
  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  8. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Neil,

    As stated in some earlier posts, the CEL (check engine light) is solely related to the emissions/fuel system. It does not look at oil,temp, etc. It is a federally mandated warning light/on board diagnostic system for the emssions system. Changing your oil has little to do with this light.

    A computer (from a dealer or other facility) must be hooked up to the car and the codes retrieved. This will determine the repair necessary. Given your symptoms, it sounds like you're dealing with a loss of static fuel line pressure drop. (When the car is off, the fuel is bleeding back into the tank or the injectors are leaking down into the cylinders.) The symptom of either is a car that starts rough then performs reltively normal once proper fuel delivery is reestablished. Both these parts are mechanical in nature so the computer will probably indicate a fault with fuel pressure and testing will determine whether it's a regulator or the injectors.

    Hope this helps,
    MM
     
  9. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Will cleaning my injectors help with this problem? Or maybe a double dose of gas treatment?
     
  10. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Neil,

    Although it's certainley the cheapest possible solution, it probably won't help. Injector cleaner is primarily helpful for cleaning build up in injectors and removing carbon deposits on intake valves. Build up in injectors gives a poor spray pattern making the gas harder to ignite since it's a stream and not a mist. Clogged injectors usually will give a misfire condition that doesn't go away. More likely for you (if it's injectors and not a bad fuel pressure regulator) is that the seals at the injector tips are bad and permitting the fuel to leak down into the combustion chamber. On start-up, after the car sits, you have to crank it awhile, then once started the engine has to blow out the excess fuel. Once done, the engine runs ok. Conversely, if it's a fuel pressure regulator, the fuel bleeds back into the tank and when starting the car, you are essentially "repriming" the fuel supply.

    Methinks it's still one of those two scenarios. Again, get to a place that can check the codes stored from the check engine light and proceed from there.

    MM
     
  11. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Neil Joseph PLEASE follow the advice from others "get the computer scanned"!!

    SCAN SCAN SCAN SCAN!

    It's like reloading your favourite computer game because MS word loads slowly! just a wild guess.

    Brent
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I work on Toyotas for a living at a dealership service dept.

    The check engine light problem is most probably not related to the oil/filter neglect.

    Your car has an OBDII system meaning the codes cannot be retrieved without a scantool. You are totally in the dark unless you get someone to access and pull the codes. Don't throw away money doing anything until you get the codes.

    The engine misfire in and of itself can cause the check engine light to come on.
    OBDII systems monitor engines for misfire and will kick on the light if enough misfire is detected to increase emmissions to a level 1.5 times normal.

    So your problem could be as simple as the need for a thorough tuneup or may involve a malfunctionning sensor. In any case you don't stand much chance of diagnosing or repairing this successfully without pulling codes.

    Since many codes may have an underlying cause other than the obvious one you are better off taking the car to a shop familiar with that make and model than just getting codes from an auto parts store and throwing parts at it.

    This is on of those cases where going to the dealer may be the cheapest solution as they have the experience and service manuals necessary to do an accurate diagnosis, rather than just swapping out parts until the problem is accidentally discovered.
     
  13. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  14. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    What happens if I can't get the engine check light to come on by the time I get the car to the dealer. Does the computer store the codes in memory?
     

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