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Happy Birthday to me indeed!


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So yesterday, the day after my birthday and the day there's supposed to be a party with my friends started fine. I got up early for once, took a shower, and got ready to go to my only class on Fridays (which is only 50 minutes long). I get in the Intrepid with my new mp3 player, plug it in and off I go. Only about a mile from the house the Check Engine light comes on. I pull over immediately into the parking lot of a new apartment building that just went up. And turn the car off. The engine temp was reading normal, the oil levels were fine, and no ominous smoke or sounds were emitting from the engine bay. I reluctantly start the car back up, listen to it...and it sounds fine...but the light is still on. I still have no clue why it's on, but I slowly drive it back home, get the Prizm, which needs gas of course, fill it up and fly to class (speed limit 45...I was going 60 most of the way).

After I get out of class I call Tom Manzi Dodge and ask if I can bring it in and they said yes, there's no waiting time. I go home, get in the Intrepid and drive it cautiously to the dealership. I explain to the service rep what the problem was and they go in to have it looked at. While I wait I end up talking to some older woman who was having her `92 Spirit in for checkup (she said it was a really reliable car, and she asked me how I liked mine and so on). About an hour later the service rep comes in and invites me over to the car which is in the air. He explains what they are doing (pumping smoke into the system to determine the cause of a leak in the emissions system, and tells me the problem is something above the gas tank...either a cracked hose, gasket or the fuel pump. It's another 180 to pull it down (takes 2 hours to pull it down and put it back at 90 bucks an hour for them). Needless to say I'm relieved and frustrated at the same time. Nothing's wrong with the engine but of course it's gonna cost a lot to fix this problem. As it turns out...this is one of those cases of cheap part, expensive labor. The part was 10 bucks, the labor was 270...it was a gasket that sealed the fuel pump (thank god it wasn't the fuel pump cuz that's 300 bucks). They fix it out and take it for a drive to make sure the problem is fixed and it was.

Of course during this whole time the car still has writing all over from Jessica saying "Happy Birthday, 21, Honk!" etc...so the old guy driving the car got a lot of honking apparently and they all had a good laugh in the service department. I also got a 10% discount which brought the price down from $280 to $250...hey every little bit helps. Of course that oil switch will need to wait a couple weeks now...I had planned to do it yesterday actually, but 250 bucks set me back a bit.


Edited by Dodgefan
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Guest YellowJacket894

My S-10 has the same problem, the Check Engine Light won't go off. I do know the cause of the problem, though: hole in the exhaust system. Since my dad owned the truck when that happened, he's replacing it for me with a nice, dual system. (Yeah. Duals on a four-cylinder truck. Wanna fight about it?) :P

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Ummm... so yeah, Happy Birthday dude. :spin:

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When your CEL comes on, you dont have to like shut the car off imediatly or anything, its usually nothing major....

In fact, most Puerto Ricans (Remember, i'm 50%) drive with their check engine light on for YEARS before going to AutoZone to get it scanned to see what it is.....

Usually takes another few years before they go about fixing the problem, and rarely does it negativly affect the car.....



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The Check Engine Light came on in the GTO when I was in the middle of nowhere once, so I gave it some gas to make sure everything sounded normal under acceleration, and it did, so I didn't worry about it much. Turned out that I apparently didn't put the gas cap on all the way after I got fuel I guess, because when I took it off and put it back on the light went off shortly afterwards.

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The "check engine" or "service engine soon" light is only for emissions control problems... it does not come on for anything else. The loose gas cap, open exhaust system, and cracked fuel hose, et al, are all emissions control issues. Don't worry about your engine if you see this light come on... unless it flashes.
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