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Old 01-12-2007, 01:20 AM   #1
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how serious is the 'check engine' lite?

i ask because obviously i had the warning lite display. i called my mechanic for an appointment and he told me it's probably fine and go ahead and keep driving. unfortunately, i had to do that as the fam was down a car to a tranny prob.

i drove the 986 to work for 3 days this week. the lite came on for 3 days straight. today i took it out and it didn't display

i'm still going to keep my appointment but i'm wondering if the scanner my mechanic talked about will be able to pull out what happened before the lite went out today. will the computer buffer the errors it gets in memory or history?

those of you who have made it thru this, was the diagnosis a 1-alarm fire or a 5-alarm fire???

thanks for the help!!

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Old 01-12-2007, 01:34 AM   #2
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CEL(Check Engine Light) can go off for sooooo many reasons. Until you find out what the code, ie P**** is I wouldn't take it out for a road trip,but you will be fine around town. Could be a gas cap missing,could be the car is running rich,way to hard to tell without a code(s). Buy the Actron II Pocketscan off of eBay and find the codes,best $50 you will spend. Good Luck!
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:25 AM   #3
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Although it's probably safe to drive, it's not something I would put off for a long time, as it could cause permanent damage to something else (like a cat converter).

I've got a Durametric, and even though I've never had a check engine light in my Boxster, I'd still want to be able to pull the code immediately.
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Old 01-12-2007, 07:21 AM   #4
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Risk/reward. Get the car checked out by a real mechanic, not the guy who told you to ignore it.
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Old 01-12-2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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The Check Engine Light is basically your car's way of telling you "something isn't the way it should be".

You should be able to go to an auto parts store, and have them plug in an OBDII scanner to see what the code is. They'll usually do that for free.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:20 AM   #6
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Don't ever run/drive the car if the light is flashing..... can cause serious damage to the emission system.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:02 AM   #7
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Hi,

The prudent thing would be to consider every CEL to be serious unless you find out otherwise. Try not to drive the car until the issue can be checked...

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Old 01-12-2007, 09:08 AM   #8
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CEL can go off for the most minor thing like not screwing on the gas cap all the way (at least Three clicks). the light will not go away by itself, you need an OBDII scanner to erase the code and turn off the light.
What I do is to keep an OBD II scanner in the rear shelf. I picked it up on Ebay for about $100. Plug it in, read the error code number and do a quick search on Renntech.org to see what kind of problem it is. I thought of printing out all the codes and keeping that with the scanner.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:50 AM   #9
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Someone recently posted on this subject to PPBB with the following link. Although the article is long, I thought it was excellent.

http://www.aa1car.com/library/ic50234.htm
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7th gear
i ask because obviously i had the warning lite display. i called my mechanic for an appointment and he told me it's probably fine and go ahead and keep driving. unfortunately, i had to do that as the fam was down a car to a tranny prob.

i drove the 986 to work for 3 days this week. the lite came on for 3 days straight. today i took it out and it didn't display

i'm still going to keep my appointment but i'm wondering if the scanner my mechanic talked about will be able to pull out what happened before the lite went out today. will the computer buffer the errors it gets in memory or history?

those of you who have made it thru this, was the diagnosis a 1-alarm fire or a 5-alarm fire???

thanks for the help!!
Hmm, a CEL that comes and goes usually is a MAF code or a Secondary Air Injection code.... You can still drive it like that but your performance and idle wont be so great until the issue is repaired.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:49 AM   #11
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the light sometimes does go away by itself.
the other day i had a check engine light come on, got home and parked the car.
next day i went to school and the light was still on, but while i was driving it turned off, didnt come on ever since then

i am looking around to get one on ebay,, is it just that one brand, Actron II Pocketscan , that i can use, or can there be any other oens that are listed once you just put "obd 2" in ebay search?

another quick Q, where can i get a list of what each pulled code means? or how would i go about that for our cars?
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:22 PM   #12
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yeah any OBDII scanner will work. Some of the nicer ones will tell you what the code corresponds to. SOme only tell you the code itself. The yellow Actrons seem to be the most popular. This one guy who checked my car once was a mechanic and had a really deluxe one that had very detailed info concerning the CEL code.
NIce to have and you can use it on all your future cars unless they go into OBD III

You can get all the codes specific to Boxsters by model year on TooPants' Renntech.org
The same CEL code can mean different things to Boxsters from different model years. I found this out when I had to replace my throttle body.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:21 PM   #13
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ok,

thanks much for your replies & knowledge!!!

i just got back from taking the 986 to the mechanic. he popped out this cpu doo-hickey and out popped the code 'p0430'. he mentioned an air flow sensor on the right side?!?

i should get my car back in 2 days. i'll post back what he found when i do.

(i miss my lil 's-car-go' already ... sniff)
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:20 PM   #14
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sorry for the delay in reply but i'm posting back to bring closure on the issue.....

my car turned out to be quite the amazing car. the fault cleared itself. the mechanic put the car under 4 engine states/loads, kept it for 3 days and no more errors occurred

i drove it for 4 days straight and no problems
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:46 PM   #15
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Now that's the best resolution (rare as it may be!)
Good for you!

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