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Thread: Here’s Why The Check Engine Light Is A Horrible, Terrible Thing

  1. #1

    Default Here’s Why The Check Engine Light Is A Horrible, Terrible Thing

    Best to just skip to the article below because all I have to say is a rant, but not even about Edmonton.

    It is a long weekend here though and a couple road trip are planned. So my wife’s VW just had its “check engine” light come on. Manual says take it to the dealer. VW dealer says they can’t take it today. Must book it in. Googling says it could be any number of things - the vehicle knows, has the codes, but of course, we the owners, the ones that paid for the thing, are left are in the dark. Oh, and of course we just had the VW cheater emissions recall work done in the V6 so maybe it’s the domino effect of bad VW engineering getting worse than ever.

    That said: enjoy this article:

    Here’s Why The Check Engine Light Is A Horrible, Terrible Thing

    Doug DeMuro
    11/24/14 2:50pm

  2. #2
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    May 2006
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    Have you got gas recently ? Sometimes if your gas cap is not turned until it clicks this can cause a CEL. Just a suggestion .Good luck
    Go ahead, speed pass me... I'll meet you at the next red light.

  3. #3
    C2E Junkie *
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    There are code readers available that link to your smart phone...that readily decipher the SES/CEL information.

    Yes, the light comes on at the simplest of things, like a loose gas cap or evap container...but the key for your road trip there a noticeable difference in the performance of the vehicle? If not, it is more than likely a sensor for emissions.

    I know many people who have the SES light on all the time...and Barry is right...when you pull the code, it is usually fuel evap that is a major issue.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  4. #4
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    That's exactly what it was on mine. My brother-in-law is a licensed mechanic and that was his first suggestion.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

  5. #5


    Yeah maybe, but I’d prefer to bash VW first. Their own owner’s manual says take it in to the dealer.

    Below, substitute VW. Then don’t buy another if they are so cavalier with their customers’ time.

    Here’s Why The Check Engine Light Is A Horrible, Terrible Thing

    “As a result, I propose that we move away from the check engine light and towards descriptive warning signals that explain the car's exact issue. For instance: if you have a loose gas cap, a light comes on that says "LOOSE GAS CAP." If you have a faulty oxygen sensor, a light comes on that says "FAULTY OXYGEN SENSOR." And if you have a Land Rover, a light comes on that says "YOU'RE AN *****."

    I can't be that much of an *****, though. After a few days of driving, my check engine light turned itself off, proving that the best way to handle a check engine light is to simply ignore it. Shame about the hedgehog, though. “
    Last edited by KC; 31-03-2018 at 09:17 PM.

  6. #6


    Cars have huge infotainment screens these days. There is absolutely no reason why the computer could not give the owner, (READ the OWNER), the exact information on the problem. Anything else is manufacturers that are protecting their own interests.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  7. #7


    Like Richard said, get a code reader. You can find them pretty cheap sometimes. I had a cracked charcoal canister on a previous vehicle that would throw an EVAP code and turn the light on every few weeks/couple months. It was too expensive and not worth replacing since it didn't affect the performance of the vehicle. So every few weeks or couple months it would come on and I would plug in the reader, confirm it was the same code, and erase it to turn off the light. Took 3 minutes and was worth doing as it saved me lots of time and money not having to deal with the garage.


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